Sunday, March 30, 2008

Giant Snakehead

Being a high level predator means that the giant snakehead eats many other fishes, amphibians and even small birds, but is not preyed upon by many other species. The giant snakehead is considered gregarious, with the young often following their mother closely. There have been reports of protective mother giant snakehead attacking men who have disturbed the snakehead's school of juveniles.

The species has the ability to crawl onto land, where it can survive for up to four days.

The giant snakehead is found in Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and possibly Myanmar. This fish can reach a length of 7 feet.

In 2002 and 2003, three specimens were caught in Maryland, all believed to have been released pets. In 2003, a giant snakehead was caught in Rock River, Wisconsin. . Biologists were concerned that warmwater effluents could allow the tropical species to survive in the colder climate.

In 2008 , a specimenof C. micropeltes was caught by an angler while fishing for pike on the River Witham in Lincolnshire, England. It is not clear if the species is breeding in the wild, or if this was an escaped captive specimen; a source within the Environment Agency was quoted as saying “The reaction was, 'Oh s***'. This is the ultimate invasive species — if it starts breeding here it's a disaster."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Giant Asian Hornet

The Asian, or Japanese hornet is the largest and most fearsome hornet in the world. It can be as big as 45 mm long (that's almost 2 inches), and its stinger is over 6 mm in length (a quarter of an inch!). Wingspan is up to 3 inches.

The venom from this hornet contains an enzyme which will dissolve bone and tissue, and can be fatal if the person stung is small, or has an allergic reaction. More than 40 people are killed each year by stings from this hornet. Those who have been stung and lived have described its sting as excrutiatingly painful.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Giant sea creatures found in Antarctic search

Scientists who conducted the most comprehensive survey to date of New Zealand's Antarctic waters were surprised by the size of some specimens found, including jellyfish with 12-foot tentacles and 2-foot-wide starfish.

Large sea spiders, jellyfish with 12-foot tentacles, huge sea snails and starfish the size of big food platters were found during a 50-day voyage, marine scientist Don Robertson said.

Cold temperatures, a small number of predators, high levels of oxygen in the sea water and even longevity could explain the size of some specimens, said Robertson, a scientist with NIWA.

Robertson added that of the 30,000 specimens collected, hundreds might turn out to be new species.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

the Antarctic cod

Scientists have discovered a fish that hibernates: the Antarctic cod.

It was already known that the Antarctic cod had special "antifreeze" in its veins that allows it to live in near-freezing waters.

It was known that the fish, which became isolated from its northern cousins 30 million years ago, lives in life's slow lane, with extremely slow rates of growth, metabolism and swimming activity.

Now scientists have discovered that it can slow even these processes down in winter by entering a dormant state while sitting on the bottom.

The fish throws a seasonal "switch" between a high gear in which it maximises feeding and growth in summer and a low one where it maximises the energy used during the long, Antarctic winter.$1209841.htm

Friday, March 7, 2008

Extremely Rare White Killer Whale

Researchers working near Alaska's Aleutian Islands on Feb. 23 spotted a white killer whale, which they estimate was 25 to 30 feet long and weighed more than 10,000 pounds. This is only the third time in the past 15 years that such a whale has been seen in the area.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


English marine experts have laid their hands on an octopus that's missing two of its own: a six-limbed creature that they have dubbed 'hexapus.'

Ordinarily, octopodes have eight arms and legs. And should they lose one or more in an accident, they can grow the limbs back.
Which is what makes 'Henry' -- as staffers at Blackpool Sea Life Centre in northwest England have dubbed their find -- so unique.
His missing limbs stem from a birth defect.

"If you look closer between the legs, there's webbing that attaches each of the arms together," John Filmer of the Sea Life Centre told CNN Tuesday. "You'd assume if he'd lost one of his legs in an accident, there would be space for an arm to grow back.
"But there's no space for two extra legs to grow back. That's just how he is."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sea Lamprey

The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is a parasitic lampreyfound on the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America , in the western Mediterranean Sea, and in the Great Lakes. It is brown or gray on its back and white or gray on the underside and can grow to be up to 90 cm (35.5 in) long. Sea lampreys prey on a wide variety of fish. The lamprey uses its suction-cup like mouth to attach itself to the skin of a fish and rasps away tissue with its sharp probing tongue and teeth. Secretions in the lamprey's mouth prevent the victim's blood from clotting. Victims typically die from blood loss or infection.