Category Archives: SEA LIFE

Meet the ‘vampire’ parasite that masquerades as a living tongue

THIS FISH HAS THE FASTEST BITE IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM-NO GO 4 SLOW MO. WATCH VIDEO

This Hairy Frogfish’s Bite is Too Fast For Slow-Motion

The fastest bite in the animal kingdom.

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Fearsome Triassic ‘ocean lizard’ was a tweezer-snouted weirdo

Its unusual skull is unlike any in reptiles alive today.

Artist’s depiction of Gunakadeit joseeae.
(Image: © Artwork by Ray Troll, copyright 2020)

Scientists just discovered the remains of a weirdo sea creature with a “tweezer snout” that would have roamed the seas hundreds of millions of years ago.

Known as thalattosaurs (“ocean lizard”), these reptiles measured up to 16 feet (5 meters) in length, and were around for about 40 million years during the latter part of the Triassic period (251 million to 199 million years ago). They are known from a scant collection of fossils, but the find in Alaska provided researchers with the most complete thalattosaur skeleton unearthed in North America.

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HUNTING FISHING SPIDER ATTACKS & EATS FISH IN THIS VIDEO

A Fishing Spider eat fish, after hunting it.
What is more frightening: the spider, or the commentator’s accent?

About The Fishing Spider

Dolomedes  is a genus of large spiders of the family Pisauridae. They are also known as fishing spiders, raft spiders, dock spiders or wharf spiders. Almost all Dolomedes species are semi-aquatic, with the exception of the tree-dwelling D. albineus of the southwestern United States. Many species have a striking pale stripe down each side of the body (…)

(…) Rather than hunting on land or by waiting in a web, these spiders hunt on the water surface itself, preying on mayflies, other aquatic insects, and even small fish. For fishing spiders, the water surface serves the same function as a web does for other spiders. They extend their legs onto the surface, feeling for vibrations given off by prey. [Read More on Wikipedia]

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Henry Sapiecha

OCTOPUS ATTACKS & EATS A LARGE CRAB IN VIDEO

OCTOPUSSY GETS CRABS VIDEO

A female tourist was quietly watching a crab on the beach in Yallingup, western Australia, this week, when suddenly … an octopus emerged out of the water to take away the crustacean under a rock.

The walker filmed the assault. She recalls her surprise on her Youtube account, where its video, shared on Reddit: “this is the best and most unexpected video I ever shot,” she wrote.
The few images that spread rapidly on the internet via social networks.

ANIMAL SKIN BELTS BANNERS IMAGE www.pythonjungle (3)

Henry Sapiecha

Gigantic Huge Goldfish Are Invading Australian Rivers

Abandoned by their owners, the fish run rampant and impact the environment

huge-goldfish mage www.pythonjungle.com

here’s nothing cuter than a goldfish—diminutive, bright and distinctly cheerful-looking, they’re a staple of fish tanks all around the world. But Australian scientists are not so enamored with the little darlings, reports Johnny Lieu for Mashable. Not only are they invading Australian rivers, but they’re growing to gargantuan sizes.

The huge goldfish of Western Australia are anything but adorable: Over the last 15 years, Lieu reports, they’ve taken to freshwater rivers in ever-greater number along with a host of other aquarium fish. In a new study published in the journal Ecology of Freshwater Fish, researchers reveal how the fish have spread throughout Australian waterways—and grown ever larger as they go.

The fish are not just big, the study found, they’re incredibly mobile. In just five days they can travel an average of one mile in the river. One intrepid fish went a whopping 3.35 miles in a mere 24 hours.

Over a year-long period, researchers tracked the movements of goldfish in the lower Vasse River, using acoustic testing and tagging to determine what fish were doing. The goldfish studied didn’t just swim around—they appear to have spawned in what ecologists call a “spawning migration,” a pattern in which fish breed in areas far away from their normal hangouts.

That’s bad news, Stephen Beatty, a senior research fellow at Murdoch University’s Centre for Fish & Fisheries Research who led the study, tells Smithsonian.com. “The fact that they’re so big is really symptomatic of the other impacts in the river,” says Beatty. The river, he explains, is warm and stagnant—perfect conditions for pet goldfish who make their way into waterways after being released by their owners. “The goldfish have really capitalized on that,” he says. Not only do the goldfish disturb the habitat and potentially consume invertebrates and fish eggs, his team suspects that they are also disease vectors.

Carassius auratus originated in Asia and are now kept as pets the world over. But when they’re released into the wild, the well-behaved fish tank friend becomes a foe to other wildlife. Not only do they grow without the constraints of a tank and commercial fish food, but their feeding frenzy causes mud and debris to rise from the bottom of the river. That in turn fuels the growth of aquatic plants, which can degrade the river even further. And while splashing around in the warm, nutrient-rich environment they love, they breed like crazy.

It’s become an issue throughout the world: a Boulder, Colorado lake teems with the fish and in Alberta, Canada, the problem has become so bad that officials pleaded with the public not to release them. For Beatty, all that press is a good thing: “They’re a bit of a flagship because they do get that media attention,” he concedes. But their star status has a downside—a misconception that if your goldfish is tiny, it won’t hurt to drop it in a lake or river. “Introduced species can have really unpredictable impacts, even cute and fuzzy ones,” he says. “Please don’t release anything into rivers or wetlands that are not native there.”

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Henry Sapiecha

Giant tiger shark reportedly caught off NSW North Coast Australia

GIANT TIGER SHARK CAUGHT IN AUSTRALIA

Northern NSW surfers support shark cull

Conservationists investigate reports of the capture of a 6-metre tiger shark on the NSW North Coast while local surfers vote for a partial shark cull at a community meeting on Monday.

A fisherman claims a four-metre tiger shark caught off the NSW coast last month ate a six-foot hammerhead shark moments before it was reeled onto his boat.

Pictures of the massive shark emerged on Facebook on Tuesday, with varying stories about how and where it was caught.

A gigantic, four-metre tiger shark, shown in Facebook photos, was reportedly caught off Nine Mile Beach, on the Tweed Coast NSW Australia www.pythonjungle

A gigantic, four-metre tiger shark, shown in Facebook photos, was reportedly caught off Nine Mile Beach, on the Tweed Coast, in the past few days. Photo: Facebook

Byron Bay-based conservation group Positive Change for Marine Life shared two images of the dead shark on its Facebook page on Tuesday, asking if anyone had more information.

Spokesman Karl Goodsell told Fairfax Media that several sources had told him the shark was caught off Nine Mile Beach, on the Tweed Coast, in the past few days.

However, a spokesman for the Department of Primary Industries said it could not confirm when or where the shark was caught.

A gigantic, four-metre tiger shark, shown in Facebook photos, was reportedly caught off Nine Mile Beach, on the Tweed Coast Australia image www.pythonjungle
A gigantic, four-metre tiger shark, shown in Facebook photos, was reportedly caught off Nine Mile Beach, on the Tweed Coast, in the past few days. Photo: Facebook

“DPI is not investigating this incident, as no illegal activity has occurred,” a spokesman said.

The fisherman, who contacted local paper the Northern Star and gave his name only as Matthew, said he caught the shark about three weeks ago, 22 kilometres off Tweed Heads.

He said he was trying to catch a six-foot hammerhead shark initially when the tiger shark swallowed it whole.

“I was fighting the hammerhead and he came up and swallowed it,” he told the paper. “You can’t turn around and go no, don’t touch, to something like that.”

He had lived in the area since he was 4, he said, and seen much larger sharks than this one – which he sold to the fish markets, keeping the jaws as a souvenir.

“I’ve dived with sharks bigger than that, it’s only a little one,” he said.

“I’ve seen tiger sharks 24-feet-long off Tweed.”

Commercial shark fishing is not illegal in large parts of the ocean off NSW and Queensland.

The frightening photos show the shark lying on what appears to be the deck of a commercial fishing vessel, with several cuts and blood seeping out of its massive jaw.

The DPI spokesman said the shark appeared to have been captured by a long-line and it looked to be about four metres long.

“This size is not unusual for a tiger shark,” he said.

The photo was initially posted by a Facebook user, Geoff Jones, who said he did not know its origins.

Another Facebook user, Nicholas X Morley, claimed he was given the image by “a mate that works in the fishing industry” who said it was caught three or four days ago, off Seven Mile Beach.

He said the fisherman handed its body to the CSIRO but a CSIRO spokesman said it had not been contacted about the shark.

Mr Goodsell said he had been able to positively identify the particular commercial fishing boat in the photos and confirm that it is a registered and licensed commercial shark fishing boat operating off northern NSW.

He said it was a legal catch, which highlighted the problem with commercial shark fishing in Australia.

“Fishermen between northern NSW and Cape York take around 78,000 to 100,000 sharks a year, some within the Great Barrier Reef and some of the species taken include … critically endangered scalloped hammerhead and the protected great white.”

“We don’t see any point in pursuing the fisherman; it’s not their fault for doing their jobs. The problem comes from the government who allow these fisheries to exist for protected and endangered species.”

Several sharks have been menacing surfers and swimmers off the NSW North Coast in recent months, causing the closure of several beaches.

Surfer Tadashi Nakahara was mauled to death in February and 11 others have been attacked, including bodyboarder Matt Lee and surfer Craig Ison, who both remain in hospital with serious injuries.

At a community meeting on Monday night, almost 200 surfers voted for a partial cull of sharks following an unprecedented number of attacks and sightings.

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Henry Sapiecha

How Titanoboa, the 40-Foot-Long Prehistoric Snake, Was Found

Titanoboa-Monster-snake dinosaurs-image www.pythonjungle.com

In the lowland tropics of northern Colombia, 60 miles from the Caribbean coast, Cerrejón is an empty, forbidding, seemingly endless horizon of dusty outback, stripped of vegetation and crisscrossed with dirt roads that lead to enormous pits 15 miles in circumference. It is one of the world’s largest coal operations, covering an area larger than Washington, D.C. and employing some 10,000 workers. The multinational corporation that runs the mine, Carbones del Cerrejón Limited, extracted 31.5 million tons of coal last year alone.

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Cerrejón also happens to be one of the world’s richest, most important fossil deposits, providing scientists with a unique snapshot of the geological moment when the dinosaurs had just disappeared and a new environment was emerging. “Cerrejón is the best, and probably the only, window on a complete ancient tropical ecosystem anywhere in the world,” said Carlos Jaramillo, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. “The plants, the animals, everything. We have it all, and you can’t find it anywhere else in the tropics.”

Fifty-eight million years ago, a few million years after the fall of the dinosaurs, Cerrejón was an immense, swampy jungle where everything was hotter, wetter and bigger than it is today. The trees had wider leaves, indicating greater precipitation—more than 150 inches of rain per year, compared with 80 inches for the Amazon now. Mean temperatures may have hovered in the mid- to high-80s Fahrenheit or higher. Deep water from north-flowing rivers swirled around stands of palm trees, hardwoods, occasional hummocks of earth and decaying vegetation. Mud from the flood plain periodically coated, covered and compressed the dead leaves, branches and animal carcasses in steaming layers of decomposing muck dozens of feet thick.

The river basin held turtles with shells twice the size of manhole covers and crocodile kin—at least three different species—more than a dozen feet long. And there were seven-foot-long lungfish, two to three times the size of their modern Amazon cousins.

The lord of this jungle was a truly spectacular creature—a snake more than 40 feet long and weighing more than a ton. This giant serpent looked something like a modern-day boa constrictor, but behaved more like today’s water-dwelling anaconda. It was a swamp denizen and a fearsome predator, able to eat any animal that caught its eye. The thickest part of its body would be nearly as high as a man’s waist. Scientists call it Titanoboa cerrejonensis.

It was the largest snake ever, and if its astounding size alone wasn’t enough to dazzle the most sunburned fossil hunter, the fact of its existence may have implications for understanding the history of life on earth and possibly even for anticipating the future.

Titanoboa is now the star of “Titanoboa: Monster Snake,” premiering April 1 on the Smithsonian Channel. Research on the snake and its environment continues, and I caught up with the Titanoboa team during the 2011 field season.

Jonathan Bloch, a University of Florida paleontologist, and Jason Head, a paleontologist at the University of Nebraska, were crouched beneath a relentless tropical sun examining a set of Titanoboa remains with a Smithsonian Institution intern named Jorge Moreno-Bernal, who had discovered the fossil a few weeks earlier. All three were slathered with sunblock and carried heavy water bottles. They wore long-sleeved shirts and tramped around in heavy hiking boots on the shadeless moonscape whose ground cover was shaved away years ago by machinery.

“It’s probably an animal in the 30- to 35-foot range,” Bloch said of the new find, but size was not what he was thinking about. What had Bloch’s stomach aflutter on this brilliant Caribbean forenoon was lying in the shale five feet away.

“You just never find a snake skull, and we have one,” Bloch said. Snake skulls are made of several delicate bones that are not very well fused together. “When the animal dies, the skull falls apart,” Bloch explained. “The bones get lost.”

The snake skull embraced by the Cerrejón shale mudstone was a piece of Titanoboa that Bloch, Head and their colleagues had been hoping to find for years. “It offers a whole new set of characteristics,” Bloch said. The skull will enhance researchers’ ability to compare Titanoboa to other snakes and figure out where it sits on the evolutionary tree. It will provide further information about its size and what it ate.

Even better, added Head, gesturing at the skeleton lying at his feet, “our hypothesis is that the skull matches the skeleton. We think it’s one animal.”

Looking around the colossal mine, evidence of an ancient wilderness can be seen everywhere. Every time another feet-thick vein of coal is trucked away, an underlayer of mudstone is left behind, rich in the fossils of exotic leaves and plants and in the bones of fabulous creatures.

“When I find something good, it’s a biological reaction,” said Bloch. “It starts in my stomach.”

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Henry Sapiecha