Fangtooth Fish (Anoplogaster Cornuta) — Deep Ocean, Large-Toothed Predator

February 26, 2015 in Animals & Insects

Fangtooth fishes (Anoplogaster cornuta, Anoplogaster brachycera) are a genus of deep sea beryciform fishes, classified as being in the family Anoplogastridae (unarmed stomach). The common names for the two currently recognized species are: the common fangtooth, and the shorthorn fangtooth.

The two species of fangtooths possess a circumglobal distribution, and are found mostly in tropical and cold-temperate waters. The genus that contains the two species is the only one in the family, and there are no known close relatives.

Fang-tooth fish
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Deep Sea Animals & Life — Fundamental Patterns, Convergent Evolution, & Other Worlds

February 9, 2015 in Animals & Insects

It’s been said before that the deep sea may as well be another world considering how distant it is from us, and how strange some of the life forms that live down may there seem to us.

And indeed in some ways the life-forms that live down there do seem strange, but at the same time they certainly do have something clearly recognizable about them do they not? Strange, but also familiar at the same time? Not quite truly alien — if it’s even possible for people to conceive of or imagine (or perhaps even be aware of?) the truly alien. Perhaps the world is filled up with the “truly alien” but it’s just that people aren’t aware of it?

After all, everything really just comes down to familiarity does it not? And people can get used to practically anything after all, even the rather strange ways that modern people live, for example.
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Horror Frog (Hairy Frog + Otton Frog) — Breaks Its Own Bones To Create Claws

February 8, 2015 in Animals & Insects

The Horror Frog — a frog that breaks its own bones to make claws — perhaps you’ve heard of such an animal and questioned whether it’s actually real? After all what kind of animal would intentionally break its own bones?

Well, I’m here to tell you that it is real — and there are actually at least two species of frog that do, in fact, break their own bones intentionally to make claws that they then use in fighting. Making both species — the Hairy Frog of Central Africa, and the Otton Frog of southern Japan (Ryukyu Islands) — clearly deserving of the (somewhat humorous) moniker “the Horror Frog”.

Horror frog claw Otton

This article will provide information on (and of course pictures of) both species — the hairy frog (Trichobatrachus robustus); and the Otton frog (Babina subaspera). Enjoy.
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Dead Jellyfish Blooms Vital To Deep Sea Ecosystem Health, Study Finds

February 7, 2015 in Animals & Insects

Dead jellyfish blooms appear to be vital to the health of many deep-sea ecosystems, based on new research National Oceanography Centre that investigated the speed at which these dead blooms are eaten.

It had previously been thought that when large blooms of jellyfish died that they often simpy fell to the ocean floor and rotted, rather than being eaten, as the sheer quantity excluded the eating of all of the bloom — thereby depleting the oxygen on the ocean floor, and creating a dead zone of sorts. The new work suggests that these assumptions were off-base.

Jellyfish blooms
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Near Extinct Animals — Mediterranean Monk Seal, Axolotl Mexican Salamander, Tiger Spider, Southern Bluefin Tuna, & Alabama Cavefish

February 6, 2015 in Animals & Insects

The current rate of species extinction in the world is estimated to 100-1000 times higher (spread across all types of life) than the background extinction rate (average over very-long time-scales), primarily as a result of modern/industrial human activity.

Some groups are experiencing much higher rates even than that though — amphibians, for example, are currently going extinct roughly ~45,000 times faster than the background extinction rate. Most/many amphibian species are expected to go extinct at some point in the foreseeable future — without large changes to the current trajectory occurring. (There are notable exceptions to this.)

Despite the growing rates of extinctions, research has shown that public interest and concern has actually been diminishing greatly over the last few decades. (Perhaps as backlash against the tactics/hypocrisy of many “environmental” organizations? Perhaps because less and less people grow up in rural areas and spend time in the “wild”? Perhaps because entertainment consumption, drug-use, and obesity, has all skyrocketed in recent decades? Hard to say…)

Many researchers have estimated that at current rates of extinction, up to one-half of all the currently existing plant + animal species in the world will be extinct by the year 2100.
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