Bites at Animal Planet

River Monsters

5 Oct

Rare 'Sofa Shark' Surprises Scientists, Who Promptly Let Him Go

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from

A rare deepwater species has been spotted by scientists in Scotland for the first time in over a decade, offering the world a fresh reminder of what fascinating forms lurk beneath the ocean's depths.

The bizarre-looking fish, known as both a "sofa shark" or "false catshark," was captured by a team of marine biologists from the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme. Weighing in at over 130 pounds, with a length of 6 feet, the rare shark's appearance left scientists stunned.

"I was pretty surprised when it landed in our boat," marine biologist Francis Neat told The Scotsman. "We quickly measured and weighed it before sending it back into the water. We hadn't seen one in ten years."

Read more about the discovery on The Scotsman.

Remember when Jeremy Wade caught a rare Glyphis shark? Relive the moment here!

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21 Sep

Rare Dolphin Spotted Smiling While Swimming Backstroke

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

Emma Schmidt was out patrolling waters off the coast of Australia as usual earlier this month, when she was graced by one of the rarest sights of the natural world.

Amid a pod of humpback dolphins, an incredibly rare snubfin dolphin popped out of the water and smiled.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 2.32.13 PM

Schmidt, a ranger at Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, has only spotted the rare snubfin dolphin twice in the past dozen years. "They are very rare, so this photo was just pure luck," Schmidt told the Townsville Bulletin.

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17 Sep

Giant Wolffish Caught in Japan Near Fukushima Plant


This isn't the poster of the latest SyFy original movie. This is a wolffish, was caught by Hirasaka Hiroshi off the coast of Japan, near the Fukushima nuclear plant. While these fish are known to grow up to 1.2 meters, about 3.9 feet, these particularly creature was 2 meters long, or 6.7 feet. Hiroshi is obviously straining to hold up his catch!

Wolffish are native to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, dwelling in deep waters and feeding on smaller fish. Their behavior is unpredictable, and they have been known to jump on land or into canoes to attack potential prey. 


While there are anomalies in all species, the concern is that the abnormal size of this fish has been caused by the Fukushima plant. The nuclear planet melted down in 2011 after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake. Since the meltdown, fish caught in the waters around the plant have been reported to contain 2,500 times the legal radiation limit

Update: Some sources are saying that this fish's size was not caused by radiation, but instead was just a lucky catch. Since there are less fishermen in the area, this may cause fish to grow larger than normal. 

Jeremy Wade has had his fair share of experiences with the wolffish. Watch one of them here!

11 Sep

Stunning Footage Shows Dolphins Surfing in Unison

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

Gorgeous footage shows wild dolphins truly know how to enjoy themselves.

Off the coast of Australia, the video, shot by Riggs Australia with a drone camera, reveals a pod of dozens of dolphins surfing side by side.

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8 Sep

Pink Dolphin Spotted Again in Louisiana Shipping Channel

If you're ever in Louisiana and find yourself on the Calcasieu River, keep your eyes peeled for something pink swimming in the water. That something pink is Pinky the dolphin, a rare sight for even seasoned biologists. She was first spotted as a calf eight years ago by Captain Erik Rue of Calcasieu Charter Service. Since then, he has seen her hundreds of times, swimming with her pod and behaving like any other dolphin.

The most logical explanation for her appearance is albinism, which is further supported by her red eyes. However, most animals with albinism are white, not pink. This has lead some to believe her coloration may be caused by a rare birth defect. 

Either way Pinky is a stunning sight. Captain Rue told WGNO he has even seen her mating so there's a chance another pink dolphin will soon call this river home.

While Pinky is a bottlenose dolphin, there is a species of pink dolphin that call the Amazon River home. Watch Jeremy Wade encounter a pod here:


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3 Sep

Fascinating Footage Shows What Happens When Octopi Get Angry

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from

Scientists are amazed at the grumpy lengths octopuses will go to for some personal space.

While researching octopus behavior, experts have been quite surprised at their findings: like octopuses fighting and even throwing shells at each other. 

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2 Sep

Sea Snake and Stonefish Found Locked in Battle

Sea Snake and Stone Fish

Spear fisherman Rick Trippe was heading back home from a day of fishing off the coast of Australia when he spotted something in the water. What he found was completely unexpected.

"It was a big sea snake, but I couldn't quite make it out what kind of snake it was," Trippe told CNN Tuesday. "Its head was biting a stonefish close to its tail area, and the fish had a huge bite into the snake."

At first glance it seems that the snake would win this fight due to its size. However, both of these sea creatures are highly venomous and could kill the other. Stonefish, or Synanceia, are the most venomous fish in the world while all known species of sea snake are some of the most venomous snakes in the world. 

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2 Sep

Man Catches Fish With a Drone (VIDEO)

In case fishing as a pastime wasn't exciting enough, you can start fishing with drones, as this video shows.

Farmer Derek Klingenberg shows step by step how he managed to catch a fish using a drone as opposed to a fishing pole. Perhaps this is the next thing in extreme fishing? Can you imagine Jeremy Wade employing this method? We think that the drone might not last against some of the monsters Jeremy meets.

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1 Sep

Unique Fish Species is Dangerously Close to Extinction

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from

After roaming the ocean for the last 55 million years virtually unchanged, the end may soon be nigh for one of the planet's most unique species.

What makes spotted handfish so special is evident in their name. Instead of swimming, these rare little fish evolved hand-like pectoral fins, which they use to quite literally 'walk' along the sea floor. Throughout their long tenure on Earth, spotted handfish endured while others died out — but now they face their greatest challenge yet. 

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31 Aug

Two Men Go Fishing, End Up Catching Two Kittens Instead [VIDEO]

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That's not a fish... (Photo Credit: Alabama Adventures/YouTube)

Who knew the word “catfishing” could take on a literal meaning?

It's all thanks to Jason Frost and Brandon Key, who went on what could be the CUTEST FISHING TRIP EVAH on the Warrior River in Alabama. It seems the two set out to reel in fish, but what they caught instead was not one, but TWO kittens.

“Is this not the craziest thing y’all have ever seen?” one of them said, taking the words right out of our mouths.

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Pit Bulls and Parolees







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