Monday, December 31, 2007

Thaumatichthys axeli



In the bituminous blackness of the deep sea, what an alluring sight to a fish must be the luminescent organ dangling from the toothy jaws of Thaumatichthys axeli, "Prince Axel's wonder-fish." The first specimen of this black, 18-inch bottom-dweller was trawled from a depth of 11,778 feet in the Atlantic by the Galathea expedition of 1950-52. The voyage's chronicler deemed the find "unquestionably the strangest catch of the Galathea expedition, and altogether one of the oddest creatures in the teeming variety of the fish world."


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sea Pig





These creatures live on or just underneath the surface of the very bottom of the ocean, on the abyssal plain. Called "sea pigs", they are a type of sea cucumber, which is a member of the same phylum as starfish and sea urchins (Echinoderms). They look and act kind of like slugs do up here on land. They feed on the mud of the sea floor, benefiting from the organic materials that settle to the ocean bottom. Sea cucumbers, starfish and sea urchins can be found in all depths of the ocean. For reasons scientists don't yet understand, members of the phylum Echinodermata (like the sea pigs) are extremely successful down in the ocean depths.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Star-nosed mole




With a mug like that, the star-nosed mole might seem to be in danger of scaring away all its food.� Luckily, these bizarre-looking creatures can detect a snack and gulp it down all under a quarter of a second.

"Most predators take times ranging from minutes to seconds to handle their prey," said Ken Catania of Vanderbilt University. "The only things I've found that come even close are some species of fish."

The secret to the mole's impressive foraging ability is the 22 appendages that ring its nose.� Nearly blind, the animal uses this sensitive, star-shaped flesh to feel around in its dark, underground environment.

This mysterious mole has moves that put the best magician to shame: The energetic burrower can detect small prey animals and gulp them down with a speed that is literally too fast for the human eye to follow.

for more on the star-nosed mole:

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/exploration/stories/starnosedmole.html

http://www.livescience.com/imageoftheday/siod_050207.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star-nosed_Mole

Myzopoda schliemanni




Scientists have discovered a new species of bat that has large flat adhesive organs, or suckers, attached to its thumbs and hind feet. This is a remarkable find because the new bat belongs to a Family of bats endemic to Madagascar--and one that was previously considered to include only one rare species.



Saturday, December 22, 2007

Giant grenadier


Racoon Dogs




Raccoon Dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) are native to Japan, southeastern Siberia and Manchuria. Average adult head and body length is about 65 cm (2 ft) and weight ranges from 4 to 10 kg (9 to 22 lb). Average litters consist of 5 pups. Longevity is 3–4 years in the wild and up to 11 years in captivity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon_Dog

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Nyctereutes_procyonoides.html

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

frilled shark




it was only discovered in Japanese waters in the 19th century. On January 21, 2007 a specimen was found alive off the coast of Japan near the Awashima Marine Park in Shizuoka, southwest of Toyko. The shark was captured but, being in poor health, died shortly afterwards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frilled_shark

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/01/photogalleries/frilled-shark/

http://www.pinktentacle.com/2007/01/rare-video-of-dying-frilled-shark/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK5L3kegYv0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X6GKcLkdRE

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

YETI CRAB


The creature, dubbed the "yeti crab," is so unusual that a whole new family of animal had to be created to classify it. Its official name is Kiwa hirsuta, and even after a year of study scientists say there's still much about it they don't understand.

One mystery is the purpose of the fine, hairlike filaments that coat the crab's arms and legs. The fibers trap bacteria, which the crab may use as food. But some scientists think the germs may filter out the toxic minerals that spew from the deep-sea vents.



Sunday, December 16, 2007

pelican eel




The pelican eel or Eurypharynx pelecanoides is a deep-sea fish rarely seen by humans, though the creatures are occasionally snagged in fishermen's nets.The pelican eel's most notable feature is its enormous mouth, much larger than its body. The mouth is loosely-hinged, and can be opened wide enough to swallow a fish much larger than itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_Mouth_Gulper_Eel

http://www.seasky.org/monsters/sea7a1j.html

chimaeras


This strange cartilaginous fish uses its long snout to scan over the sea floor for the electrical impulses of its prey that bury in the muddy sea floor, just like a metal detector. Like other chimaeras (such as ghost and elephant sharks), these animals lay horny egg cases in which their young are left to develop, potentially for up to one year. For defense, most chimaeras have a venomous spine located in front of the dorsal fin.

http://www.who-sucks.com/animals/real-life-sea-monsters-24-bizarre-creatures-of-the-deep

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimaera

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blobfish



The Blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is a fish that inhabits the deep waters off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania. Due to the inaccessibility of its habitat, it is rarely seen by humans.

Blobfish are found at depths where the pressure is several dozens of times higher than at sea level, which would likely make gas bladders inefficient. To remain buoyant, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming. The relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats by in front of it.


http://www.teara.govt.nz/EarthSeaAndSky/SeaLife/DeepSeaCreatures/2/ENZ-Resources/Standard/2/en

http://clipmarks.com/clipmark/9891B6C0-58C8-4446-8FDF-6E60A6959D83/

Tripod fish





Long extensions of three of this deep sea fish's fins allow it to stand on the ocean bottom where it waits for small crustaceans to drift towards it. The three elongated fins of the tripod fish may extend to nearly one meter (3 ft 3 in) in length.

more info on the tripod fish here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripod_fish

http://www.fathom.com/course/10701050/session4.html

Friday, December 14, 2007

400 Year Old Clam Found -- Oldest Animal Ever




Can you imagine living for four centuries? A team of scientists from Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences believe they have found an animal which did just that, a quahog clam, Arctica islandica, which was living and growing on the seabed in the cold waters off the north coast of Iceland for around 400 years- that is, until they killed it


Only after researchers cut through its shell, which made it more of an ex-clam, and counted its growth rings did they realize how old it had been — between 405 and 410 years old.

http://www.physorg.com/news112870855.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,306076,00.html?=rss


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Giant Salamander




The Japanese Giant Salamander (Andrias japonicus) reaches up to 1.44 m (4 ft 9 in), feeds on fish and crustaceans, and can live for up to 80 years. The Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus) can reach a length of 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in).

links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_salamander

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AsiaTrail/GiantSalamanders/

http://internt.nhm.ac.uk/jdsml/museum/tring/highlights/detail.dsml?&beginIndex=1&&

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Goblin Shark

Ocean Sunfish

The ocean sunfish (Mola mola) or common mola is the heaviest bony fish in the world, with an average weight of 1,000 kilograms or about 2,200 lbs. It resembles a fish head without a tail, and its main body is flattened laterally. Sunfish can be as tall as they are long, when their dorsal and anal fins are extended. Specimens up to 3.2 m (10.5 ft) in height have been recorded.

more ocean sunfish info here:

http://www.oceansunfish.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_sunfish

Monday, December 10, 2007

King of Herrings







The rarely seen king of herrings is the world's longest bony fish and has been documented to 41 feet in length, with reports to 50 feet, and 600 pounds. Its head and body is silver with blue streaks, with blackish streaks and spots on the body. The Oarfish (as it is also known as) is a relatively obscure fish that is reported to move vertically through the water in a column and is found between 3,300 feet deep and the surface.


http://members.tripod.com/motomom/Oar_Fish1.jpg

Mekong giant catfish


Attaining an unconfirmed length of 3m (9+ft), the Mekong giant catfish grows extremely quickly, reaching a mass of 150 to 200kg in only six years. The largest catch recorded in Thailand since record-keeping began in 1981, was a female measuring 2.7 m (roughly 9ft) in length and weighing 293 kg(646 lb). This specimen, caught in 2005, is widely recognized as the largest freshwater fish ever caught.

click out these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mekong_giant_catfish

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/06/photogalleries/giantcatfish/

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/mekong-giant-catfish.html

Megatherium

Megatherium ("Great Beast") was a genus of elephant -sized ground sloths that lived from 2 million to 8,000 years ago. It had lengths up to 6m (18ft) and could weight up to 3.8 tons.

more on the Megatherium:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/456.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megatherium

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Giant Isopod


Bigfin Squid


The bigfin squids are a group of rarely seen cephalopods with a very distinctive morphology.The family is known only from larval, paralarval, and juvenile specimens, but some authorities believe the adult creature has been seen: Several videos have been taken of animals nicknamed the "long-arm squids", which appear to have a similar morphology. Since none of the adult specimens have ever been captured or sampled, it remains uncertain if they are the same genus, or only distant relatives.

more bigfin squid links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigfin_squid

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1723595.stm

Basking Shark


The Basking Shark is the second largest fish, after the whale shark. There are reports from Norway of three basking sharks over 12 m (the largest being 13.7 m/45 ft). It is a slow moving and generally harmless filter feeder.

Like other large sharks, basking sharks are at risk of extinction due to a combination of low resilience and overfishing to supply the worldwide market for the shark's fins, flesh and organs.

other links:

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/baskingshark/baskingshark.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basking_shark

http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=193

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Japanese Spider Crab



The Japanese Spider Crab is the largest living arthropod; fully grown it can reach a leg span of almost 4 m (13 ft), a body size of up to 37 cm(15 inches) and a weight of up to 20 kg (44 pounds). The crab's natural habitat is on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean (some 300–400 m deep) around Japan, where it feeds on dead animals and shellfish. It is believed to have a life expectancy of up to 100 years.

Because it is a particularly old species of crab, it is often referred to as a "living fossil".

for more info on the Japanese Spider Crab click on these:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_spider_crab

http://www.vincelewis.net/spider.html

http://suvomitra.smugmug.com/gallery/1424173/4/19652329#19652329

the Giant Moa


The Giant Moa were among the largest birds that ever lived, standing 3.6m (10 ft) tall and weighing 300 kg. The giant moa, along with other moa species, were wiped out by human colonists who hunted it for food. All taxa in this genus were extinct by 1500 in New Zealand, , although there is actually a nineteenth century report of hunters who claimed to have caught sight of some of these giant birds, but dared not venture to shoot them.


more Giant Moa links:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Moa


http://dearkittybackup.blogspot.com/2005/06/new-zealand-how-giant-moa-bird-became.html


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9E04E6DA1130E633A25750C1A9669D94689FD7CF

gobi desert creature

what is this?
is it real?
i really don't know.
i found this and two other pictures of these creatures online last night. it was in a blog about someones travels. he didn't know what they were either. he found them "in a small pond smack in the middle of the Gobi Desert". bizarre.



if you wanna check out his blog go here
click on the link below and the pics/info are about halfway down the page.


http://danzanravjaa.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/09/index.html

Friday, December 7, 2007

Vampire Squid

The Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis, lit. "vampire squid from hell") is a small, deep-sea cirrate cephalopod. The Vampire Squid is an extreme example of a deep-sea cephalopod, thought to reside at aphotic (lightless) depths from 600-900 metres (2,000-3,000 feet) or more. Within this region of the world's oceans is a discrete habitat known as the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). In order to cope with life in the suffocating depths, vampire squid have developed several radical adaptations.

for more info on vampire squids check these websites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire_squid


http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=179

Lonesome George

The rarest animal in the world today is a giant tortoise which lives in the Galapagos Islands. There is only one Pinta Island tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus abingdoni). It is a male known by his keepers as Lonesome George. George is estimated to be 60-90 years of age, and is in good health but when he dies the Pinta tortoises will be extinct.

for more on Lonesome George try these sites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonesome_George

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/george.html

Megamouth shark


The Megamouth shark is an extremely rare and unusual species of deepwater shark. Discovered in 1976, only a few have ever been seen and only three recordings of it are on film.







for more on the megamouth shark check out these links


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megamouth_shark

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/Megamouth/megamouth.htm

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Coelacanth


The Coelacanth is 400 million year old "living fossil" was thought to have gone extinct 60 million years ago until one was caught in 1938 30 kilometers SW of East London, South Africa. Then another specimen was identified in Comoros (an island nation in the Indian Ocean) in 1952. In 1997, a different, second species was spotted by a couple in a market in Indonesia, but this Coelacanth was brown not blue like the others. Coelacanths are closely related to lungfish and are said to possibly be a "missing link" of sorts, due to their "proto legs".

for more on the Coelacanth check these sites out

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coelacanth

http://www.dinofish.com

http://sacoast.uwc.ac.za/education/resources/fishyfacts/coelacanth.htm