Cryptozoology, BioForteana, and Remarkable Species
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Oarfish Filmed in Wild
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Some New Species
Monday, December 07, 2009
Heron vs Snake
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Strange Animal Roundup
Friday, October 30, 2009
Minnesota River Monster Tale
I guess the moral to this story is that corncob wine and river monsters don't mix.
In any case, it doesn't sound like anything reptilian. Actually, except for the size, it sounds like one of the lampreys, though the native species in the Red River barely reach a foot in length, if that. But then, the corncob wine might have incited a little exaggeration...
Friday, October 16, 2009
Last Hunt for Maryland Darter?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Gelatinous, Scaleless Fish
Sunday, August 02, 2009
New Canadian Fish
Monday, July 06, 2009
A Strange Fish from Yap
I recently ran across mention of a "mystery fish" from the Micronesian island of Yap, in Kenneth Brower's 1983 book, A Song for Satawal. Brower mentions that in a paper on ethno-ichthyology of the island, Dr. Margie Falanruw listed a fish the Yapese call galuf nu medai, translated as "monitor lizard of the sea." She noted: "Lives in mangroves, head like a crocodile, caught at night, has lizard-like skin and red meat that tastes like salmon. Three to four feet long."
It sounded interesting, so I contacted Dr. Falanruw to see if it was actually unknown. She was kind enough to provide an identification of the fish: Cymbacephalus beauforti, or crocodilefish.
But, she notes that she is currently working on the description of a new reptile from the region, so zoological discovery continues, even in a fairly well-known part of the world.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
The "Giant Prehistoric Minnow"
Years ago, I came across Lost Legends of the West, by Williams & Pepper (1970). They briefly mention the story of a man in the early 1960s who caught a "giant prehistoric minnow" in Lake Mojave, which excited wildlife officials. The story is repeated in the 2007 book, Weird Las Vegas and Nevada. When I posed the question of the species of the fish on the old CZ list in 1999 (actually, I see that Matt Bille had previously queried on the subject there), Jack "Rabbit" noted that it was probably the Colorado squawfish, Ptychocheilus lucius (now called the Colorado pikeminnow). With recent advances in search capabilities, it's now possible to confirm this identification, and I can point to a closer source to the story. Desert Magazine from August 1963 gives a few details in its article on Lake Mojave. The court battle (with victory for the fisherman) for the 1960s fish's remains (noted in Lost Legends) isn't mentioned, so I am uncertain as to whether it is apocryphal. Today, of course, there would be no legal grounds for possession of an endangered fish, but as Federal protection wasn't even available until the ESA in 1973, I suppose such a court case could have happened.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Fun with Genetics
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Giant Out-of-Place Arapaima?
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Ocean Life Changes
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Under the Ocean
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Journey to Description
It took almost 10 years from the first photograph of an undescribed species of Grammonus in Hawaiian waters before an actual specimen could be placed in a museum collection and described. The fish was photographed and even collected in the interval, but one circumstance or another prevented its examination by experts. The paper:
Grammonus nagaredai, a New Viviparous Marine Fish (Ophidiiformes: Bythitidae) from the Hawaiian Islands
John E. Randall and Marc James Hughes
Pacific Science 63(1): 137-146 (2009)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
A new climbing catfish has been described from Venezuela. The species "has a specialized pelvic fin that decouples from its body and moves backward and forward independently." This is "used in combination with a grasping mouth to move like an inchworm up rocks." (News source.)
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Cuvier's "rash dictum" had a twin in marine biology. "In 1843, the British naturalist Edward Forbes declared life was impossible below 300 fathoms (540 metres)." (source)
Now, the deepest-living fishes (so far) have been photographed by biologists, and it turns out they're a rather social species. (News source.)
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Prince Edward Island Carcass
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
A new study points out that a good number of marine fish fluoresce red. (News source.)
"It has long been axiomatic that red light is simply not part of the mental universe of marine fish because the sunlight's longest visible wavelengths do not penetrate below a depth of ten metres (30 feet)." ...
"This foreshortening of the color spectrum under the waves was also assumed to correspond to a narrowed field of vision in fish, said the study's lead researcher in an interview." ...
"Looking through a filter while scuba diving that blocked out the brighter green and blue light waves, leaving only red ones, they suddenly saw a whole universe of sea creatures glowing various hues of cherry, crimson, ruby and rust."
Thursday, August 21, 2008
New Giant Grouper
Friday, August 15, 2008
BBC Series Shows Fish Discovery
The BBC series Pacific Abyss shows the discovery of several new species of damselfish. (News source.)
"The most spectacular recovery was of the bright blue damselfish found 120m down off Palau. This was described recently in the scientific literature by team-member Dr Richard Pyle, from the Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii.
"The fish has been named Chromis abyssus in honour of the TV series.
"The story is a more complicated one, however, because Dr Pyle first saw this fish more than a decade ago. Other researchers, too, had sightings, including one from a small submersible and another from a Remotely Oerated Vehicle (ROV).
"It was during the BBC filming, though, that nine specimens were finally captured, allowing for an official scientific submission this year."
Monday, August 11, 2008
Florida Skeleton is Big Fish
Giant Catfish Tales
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
New Fish Sighted in Hawaii?
From the news:
"A team of Hawaii scientists may have discovered a new species of fish in the Northwest Hawaiian islands. They're a NOAA team that returned this week from an expedition to study the beautiful fish and marine life there." ...
"Dr. Jeff Drazen detailed, 'One of the animals we observed on this expedition was a fish called an eel pout. We don't know the species for certain, but it belongs to a family of fishes that have never been documented in the Hawaiian Islands.'" ...
"These were at a depth of 10,000 feet. ... 'They were attracted to the bait and they seemed to eat some of the other animals that were also attracted,' said Drazen."
"The research team plans to head back out to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands next year to catch some specimens-of eel pout and possibly other fish!"
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Someone in North Carolina thinks they may have seen an unidentified species of small fish:
"Abe Nail has seen some very strange fish swimming in Phillip’s Creek. Nail said the fish he saw were a bright, scarlet red with white fins, and were about ¼ inches long.
"Nail said the fish come around for a few weeks in late May and early June.
"Nail thinks the fish may turn this bright red color as part of their mating ritual. He said they turn back to a drab orange after a few days." (News source.)
Given that there are probably quite a few small cyprinids in NC, I'd suspect a little-known species over an unknown species, and you'd probably need a specialist to determine that, but there was a new species of fish described in WV earlier this year, so you never know...
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
New Fish in West Virginia
A new species of darter has been discovered in West Virginia. (News source.)
"A new species of fish has been discovered in the lower Elk River near Charleston by a West Virginia University professor. Stuart Welsh, assistant professor in the Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Program in the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, named the new species Crystallaria cincotta, or 'diamond darter.'
"His findings were recently published in Zootaxa, an international journal for animal taxonomists. The diamond darter is a close relative of the crystal darter (Crystallaria asprella), a small fish found in the drainage basins of the Mississippi River. Diamond darters are translucent; adults range from 3-5 inches long."
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Search on for Strange Fish
Another case of an unwitting cryptozoological investigation in mainstream science: sightings and photographs of a strange anglerfish have been taken, but the species (perhaps the family) is still unknown. (Eurekalert.) [Image: M. Snyder, starknakedfish.com/divingmaluku.com]
"The fish, sighted in Indonesian waters off Ambon Island, has tan- and peach-colored zebra-striping, and rippling folds of skin that obscure its fins, making it look like a glass sculpture that Dale Chihuly might have dreamed up. But far from being hard and brittle like glass, the bodies of these fist-sized fish are soft and pliable enough to slip and slide into narrow crevices of coral reefs. It’s probably part of the reason that they've typically gone unnoticed – until now." ...
"Husband and wife Buck and Fitrie Randolph, with dive guide Toby Fadirsyair, found and photographed an individual Jan. 28 in Ambon harbor. A second adult has since been seen and two more – small, and obviously juveniles – were spotted March 26, off Ambon. One of the adults laid a mass of eggs, just spotted Tuesday." ...
"The newly found individuals have no lures so they seek their prey differently, burrowing themselves into crevices and cracks of coral reefs in search of food." ...
"With its unusual flattened face, the fish's eyes appear to be directed forward, something Pietsch says he's never seen in 40 years as an icthyologist, a scientist who studies the structure, classification and habits of fishes. Most fishes have eyes on either side of their head so that each eye sees something different. Only very few fishes have eyes whose radius of vision overlaps in front, providing binocular vision, a special attribute well developed in humans that provides the ability to accurately judge distance." ...
"Whether the new fish represent a new family will entail DNA testing and a close examination of a specimen, says Pietsch, whose anglerfish work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation. Scientists have already described 18 different families of anglerfishes and this is probably a 19th, Pietsch says. Families are large groupings, for example, all dog species belong to the larger family that includes wolves, coyotes and, even, hyenas. One can see an example of an anglerfish family, the one named Antennariidae, at http://www.tolweb.org/Antennariidae/21993, a part of the Tree of Life Web project.
"When only a single fish had been sighted, Randolph and Andy Shorten, co-owner of Maluku Divers, kept the find quiet to protect the animal. With more individuals being found, and having a better idea of where to look to find others, the two became comfortable enough to post images on the firm's Web site, see http://www.divingmaluku.com/new-frogfish."
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Korean Scientist on the 'Tianchi monster'
A North Korea scientist has suggested that the images of the 'Tianchi monster' captured by a Chinese photographer are large trout, the offspring of fish introduced into the lake by North Koreans 40 years ago. From the news:
"77-year-old Kim Li-tae said during an interview with the Choson Shinbo, a newspaper published by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, that he was one of the North Korean researchers who released nine trout into Tianchi Lake, located on Changbai Mountain, on July 30, 1960. At a later date they released other species of fish such as carp and mosquito fish into the lake." ...
"In 2000, the Korean researchers did experimental tests on 'Tianchi trout' found in shoal waters that measured 85 centimeters in length and weighed 7.7 kilos, but they've never been able to test trout from the deeper waters of Tianchi Lake. The 'Tianchi monster' that Chinese photographer Zhuo Yongsheng, who works for a local TV station run by the administration office of the nature reserve at Mount Changbaishan, Jilin Province captured on film last month, might be a 'Tianchi trout' from the deep of the lake, Kim said."
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Celebes Sea Expedition
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Researchers investigating the rivers in the Northern Territories, Australia, using a new method, electric currents to stun fish, have rediscovered a fish not seen for 14 years. The Lorentz's Grunter (Pingalla lorentzi) was found in two rivers. They hope to find new species as they continue. (News source.)
Monday, October 15, 2007
Big Salmon Near Loch Ness
Monday, September 24, 2007
A foot-long albino ratfish was caught during a University of Washington research project off Whidbey Island. From the Eurekalert:
"This fish was almost pure white with a crystalline layer near the surface of its skin that gave it a silvery sheen." ...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
New Underwater Cave Fish in Hawaii
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
An African electric fish, Brienomyrus brachyistius, uses its weak electric signals in courtship behavior. From the research news:
"The research, which is the cover story in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, is authored by Carl D. Hopkins, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior, and Ryan Wong '05, who conducted the study as an undergraduate for his senior honors thesis and is now a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas in Austin.
'"Our study provides strong evidence that the "rasp" [a certain electric signal] is a male advertisement call during courtship in this species,' said Wong, noting that the males also serenade females with lower frequency 'creaks.'"
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Manta Ray Born in Captivity
A Japanese aquarium has announced what may be the first captive birth of a manta ray. From the news:
"The baby manta, a female, was born late Saturday in a huge fish tank at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, more than a year after its parents mated, the aquarium said in a statement posted Sunday on its Web site.
"In a video capturing the birth, the baby manta, rolled up like a tube, came sliding out of the mother manta, then quickly spread its fins and began swimming around." ...
"According to the aquarium, the newborn manta was more than six feet wide.
"The mother manta, which was brought to the aquarium in 1998 after hitting a fishnet off the southern island of Okinawa, about 1,000 miles southwest of Tokyo, mated with its partner on June 8, 2006, and was pregnant with the baby for 374 days, according to the statement."
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Coelacanth Caught near Surface
A specimen on the coelacanth was captured alive in the waters near the Bunaken National Marine Park (North Sulawesi) in mid-May 2007.
The fish lived for 17 hours in quarantine before expiring. The fish is planned for further study.
For more information see http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21765466-663,00.html and http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/05/20/asia/AS-GEN-Indonesia-Living-Fossil.php
Saturday, March 10, 2007
L. Alexandrei described - new Brazilian Snapper
Lutjanus alexandrei has been described recently in the paper “A new species of snapper (Perciformes: Lutjanidae) from Brazil, with comments on the distribution of Lutijanus griseua and L. apodus” by R.L. Moura and K.C. Lindeman (in Zootaxa 1422: 31-43: 2007).
This new endemic species from Brazil has been misidentified in the past as other species, including L. apodus (schoolmaster), L. jocu and L. griseus (gray snapper) . This brings the total known western Atlantic species of snapper to 12.
First known to be different in 2003, the species was further acknowledged as being unique through subsequent morphological examinations in the field and museum specimens.
Having a reddish body and fins, blue spots, and white lines along its surface, this snapper is a rather stunning fish indeed. Named after naturalist Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira, this new snapper has had the common name of Brazilian Snapper proposed.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Galaxy rasbora placed in new genus
Galaxy rasbora placed in new genus
"Microrasbora sp 'Galaxy' has been officially described and placed in a new genus. Tyson Roberts today described the new species as Celestichthys margaritatus in a paper in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. He has also given the fish the new common name of Celestial pearl danio. Roberts says that the new species is a member of the cyprinid subfamily Danioninae and is most closely related to two danionins from Inle Lake in Myanmar, Microrasbora rubescens and "Microrasbora" erythromicron.
"Prior to its official description, the fish was only tentatively considered a member of the Microrasbora genus, on account of its similarity to M. erythromicron. Roberts believes that Celestichthys margaritatus is so different to other Microrasbora that it warrants a genus of their own, possibly along with "Microrasbora" erythromicron. The fish, which was discovered in August 2006, was first covered by Practical Fishkeeping in September and featured in the Interesting Imports column in the December 2006 issue of the magazine."
Monday, February 19, 2007
Two New sisorid catfish from the Yunnan Province
Monday, February 12, 2007
Another New Catfish - Central Vietnam
In Zootaxa 1406:25-32 (2007) Heok Hee Ng and Heok Hui Tan describe a new species of Pseudecheneis catfish from Central Vietnam. Their paper is entitled Pseudecheneis maurus, a new species of glyptosternine catfish (Teleostei: Sisoridae) from Central Vietnam.
The new species is from the Song Thuy Loan in Central Vietnam and was discovered during an ichthylogical survey of the region. The genus Pseudecheneis was not known from this area, and the new species is distinguished from other members by the absence of distinct pale spots, thoracic adhesive apparatus sulcae not at midline and a short adipose fin base.