Bites at Animal Planet

River Monsters

1 Sep

Unique Fish Species is Dangerously Close to Extinction

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

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]

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 3.19.26 PM
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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25 Aug

Shy Octopus Turns Serious Scientists into Total Softies

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Sarah V Schweig from thedodo.com)

Scientists were talking normal scientific stuff over live footage of the sea floor just off the coast of California.

"The forced feedback — it gives us a 40 pound to one ratio —," one scientist was saying.

"Can I just step in for a second?" another interrupted. "This is almost like a posed picture."

A striking image of a jellyfish floated across the screen, just above a tiny dumbo octopus.

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20 Aug

Woman Catches Two Pacu in California

This story sounds like something out of an episode of River Monsters. Cathy Blanc was fishing off a local dock in Sacramento County and got a bite on her line, like any other fishing trip. She reeled in her catch and instead of a blue gill or a catfish, she got something completely unexpected: not one, but two fish with human-like teeth. While Blanc initially thought these fish were piranhas, they have been confirmed as pacu by wildlife officials

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Pacu are relatives of the piranha and are normally found in the warm waters of South America. So how did they end up all the way in California, near Sacramento County? Pacu are sold in a local pet store, as confirmed by KCRA. Mitchell Thompson, one of the store's employees, said that people do buy the species for their personal aquariums. However, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, it is illegal to own a pacu without a research permit. 

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20 Aug

Rare Deep-Sea Jellyfish Makes a Stunning Appearance

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

One needn't travel to a distant solar system in hopes of finding creatures seemingly ripped from science fiction. Truth is, some of the most alien-looking lifeforms imaginable live right here on Earth.

Online forum Reddit was abuzz on Wednesday after user Phillip Trudeau shared a recent video of an enormous, rarely seen jellyfish. The massive animal, identified as Stygiomedusa gigantea, was reportedly caught on film by a remotely operated vehicle more than 3,000 feet below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico — drifting through the depths with flowing tentacles that can reach up to 20 feet in length.

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13 Aug

Man Can't Help But Laugh After Brave Little Fish Attacks His Nipple

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Stephen Messenger from thedodo.com)

Sometimes, even the most refreshing bodies of water can suddenly turn a bit too, ahem, nippy for comfort.

Wyatt Green was out enjoying a relaxing dip in Lake Powell, Utah, when he had asurprising encounter with a brash little local. While idly filming himself being visited by some sunfish, one of them decided to remind him who's boss — leaping from the water to bite him on the nipple.

Fortunately, Green seems to take the little attack in stride.

Green was not available for comment on the nipple-biting experience, but a coworker of his, named Rex, at Boater's Outlet was willing to weigh in.

"We all thought it was pretty funny," Rex told The Dodo. "It was just a fluke."

Not all small fish are so harmless, as Jeremy Wade learned in this video.

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13 Aug

Largest Recorded Snakehead Caught in Maryland River

The name, snakehead, has peppered headlines since its introduction to Maryland's ecosystem in 2002. It is an extremely invasive species that reproduces very quickly and are able to survive on land for extended periods of time. Now, they're back in the headlines after Maryland man, Todd Murphy, caught the largest recorded snakehead in the Potomac River, specifically Mattawoman Creek. 

His catch measured 36 inches long and weighed 17.47 pounds. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources confirmed the fish's size and even thanked Murphy on Twitter for the catch.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 1.13.25 PM

Snakeheads are native to China and are threatening local species. Check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for more facts about and tips for handling snakeheads. 

Watch Jeremy Wade reel in his own snakehead here:

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11 Aug

Stunning Footage Shows Encounter with One of the World's Rarest Animals

Dodo Circular

(Guest post by Anna Swartz from thedodo.com)

Is there anything more majestic than a whale swimming wild and free? A lucky nature lover spotted something incredible off the coast of New South Wales, Australia, this weekend — a rare white humpback whale swimming by on his way north.

The next day, news crews deployed boats and helicopters, hoping to get a glimpse of the rare and beautiful animal. They totally lucked out.

Experts say that this whale isn't the famous Migaloo, who is probably the world's most well-known white whale. The one spotted this weekend is too small and too white, CBCNews reports.

But just because this guy isn't Migaloo doesn't mean he's not special. White humpback whales are one of the rarest animals on Earth — only four albino humpback whales have EVER been discovered.

It's possible this whale is one of Migaloo's offspring. But whoever he is, let's hope he lives a long and happy life in the wild. We could be spotting him for years to come.

Watch the whole video here

Check out another incredible whale encounter. This time, with the Gray Whale in Magdalena Bay. 

30 Jul

300-Pound Grouper Caught Off the Coast of Florida

"I was able to swim along side this beautiful animal and even touch its huge scales. After a few minutes of this close...

Posted by The Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's a week of giants for Florida! First the 18-foot python, now this: a gargantuan grouper. On Monday, Florida doctor Sam Gerson went out on Cape Canaveral, Florida with a fishing charter. Little did he know he was going to make the catch of a lifetime. After dropping his line over a shipwreck site, he felt a nibble almost instantly.

"I dropped my line in and within seconds of hitting bottom, I felt a strong jerk. As I started reeling in, the rod bent until the tip was almost in the water. Soon I wasn’t reeling, but instead holding on for dear life as line was running out of the spool at an alarming speed," he told The Huffington Post.

After an hour of reeling, the massive grouper, nicknamed "The Dinosaur," breached the surface. According to their fishing guide, the fish weighed at least 300 pounds and could be more than 50 years old.

After snapping a pic next to his catch, Gerson let "The Dinosaur" back into his watery domain. 

Watch Jeremy Wade catch his own gigantic grouper here!

30 Jul

Giant Python Caught in Florida

A Burmese python, which measured 18 feet, three inches, was caught in Everglades National Park in Florida this week. This snake could possibly be the second largest snake to be ever be caught in the state, but, according to CBS Miami, the size of snakes captured captured outside of the park are not recorded. The largest python was 18 feet, seven inches, so not far off from the most recent capture. 

EXCLUSIVE: A huge, gigantic, enormous Burmese Python captured at Shark Valley in Everglades National Park may be second largest ever caught in Fla. Read more here: http://cbsloc.al/1HUTTCT(Courtesy: USGS)

Posted by CBS Miami on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A professional python researcher who regularly works in the park captured the snake in an attempt to control the population of this invasive species. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Burmese python was first documented in the wild in Florida in 1979 due to their owners' releasing them into the wild. Since then, they have posed a large threat to the indigenous small population of the Everglades, especially because they have no natural predators. They can also grow up to 19 feet and are capable of eating deer and even alligators 

There are an estimated 100,000 of these reptiles living in South Florida. They do not pose a threat to humans unless provoked.

Learn more about the python in Florida here.

Remember when Jeremy Wade came face-to-face with an anaconda? Relive the moment here!

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