Creepy Animals

…they're really interesting.

Jan 21 2013

Batfish

Red-lipped batfish underwater.

Red-lipped Batfish

We know it’s not a bat, but does this really qualify as a fish? The Batfish has uniquely creepy pectoral and pelvic fins that let it ”walk” across the seafloor. Similar to anglerfishes, batfishes lure in small edibles like shrimp, worms and fish using a wriggle-ready appendage on their nose that acts just like a fishing rod. About 60 species of batfishes walk / swim the waters deep.

Roughback batfish on sea floor

Roughback Batfish

 

polkadot batfish fish with feet

Polkadot Batfish

 

Longnose batfish.

Longnose Batfish - top view

 

Longnose batfish on ocean floor

Longnose Batfish - side view

 

Louisiana pancake batfish top view

Louisiana Pancake Batfish - top view

 

pancake batfish flat fish swimming

Louisiana Pancake Batfish - pancake view

Photos via Flickr, FlickrMarco News, Wikipedia, Diving Tank JPNat GeoASU,

Aug 3 2011

Goliath Tigerfish

Goliath tier fish caught

Now open wide...

 

Goliath tiger fish with large teeth.

Just a little wider...

 

Goliath tiger fish mouth open with sharp teeth.

That's it.

Grows like goliath, hunts like a tiger and swims like a fish. The Goliath Tigerfish lurks the waters of the Congo River system and several other lakes in southern Africa. This fish is remarkably adept at swimming and killing due in part to an air-filled sac in its body that allows it to detect vibrations from animals in the water. Those razorsharp spikes in its mouth may also help the cause.

Many thanks to dear reader John C. for shoring up this goliath creepy animal.

Apr 17 2011

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse with big head.

Caution: Wide Load.

We all know the sea is thick with fish. With so many different species, some are bound to be a little unsightly. It’s basically a numbers game, and the Asian Sheepshead Wrasse happens to be a victim of the odds. This fish swims the shallow waters around China, Japan and the Koreas while resembling a very old man. With bulging protrusions on its head and jaw, this is a face only a mother could love.

Asian Sheepshead Wrasse swimming.

Waitaminute. Is that my grandpa swimming in the ocean?

Photo via Arkive

Watch it swim:

Feb 2 2010

Rare: King of Herrings

King of Herrings caught.

GIANT SEA MONSTER! CAUGHT!

This creepy animal definitely isn’t a King. And most certainly not a Herring. The King of Herrings is an extremely long bony fish that swims the oceans deep. Some say the King of Herrings can grow to 50 feet, weigh up to 600 pounds, and swim vertically. Nobody knows for sure as the fish is rarely seen. This is a relatively small catch:

King of Herrings fish.

Long live the King of Herrings!

Jan 8 2010

Creature of the Deep: Greenland Shark

Greenland shark swimming.

The creeping giant.

Ever get the feeling there’s something really creepy lurking beneath all that floating ice up north? We get it all the time. Cause of fear? The Greenland Shark. This shark is a native of the frigid waters surrounding Greenland and Iceland yet little is known about this animal. Here are some things we do know, all of them creepy:

1. Its lifespan may be up to 200 years.

2. It moves very slowly, yet fast-moving fishes, seals and even reindeer have been found in the stomaches of these sharks.

3. The fossilized appearance comes courtesy of small ‘teeth’ on its skin. Greenland Shark leather is approximately 9 times stronger than cowhide.

4. Its flesh is very toxic when fresh.

5. 80% of the adult population has a parasitic friend – a small Copepod embeds itself into the shark’s cornea, with the other half of it dangling out like a dead worm. Scar tissue forms on the eye, rendering eyesight semi-functional later in age. No matter – Greenland Sharks spend most of their time in darkness, up to 7200 feet below the surface.

Greenland shark with copepod.

Blinded by the Copepod.

Dec 3 2009

Underwater Curiosities: Sawshark

Sawshark swimming.

Dun dun. Dun dun. Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun.

This is so much worse than a Great White lurking on the beaches of Amity Island. Sawsharks are most obviously distinguished from other sharks by the row of teeth sticking out on either end of its long snout, which it uses to blade its victims.

Observe:

Sawshark teeth.

Muahahahhaaa.

Sawshark on Wikipedia

Oct 18 2009

Unapologetically Creepy: Long-nosed Chimaera

Chimaera with long nose.

I mean...what exactly are we looking at?

In Greek mythology, the chimaera (or chimera) was a fire-breathing monster composed of various animals: a lioness, a snake and a goat. In reality, the chimaera is a deep-sea monster composed of various substances: cartilage, slimy skin and utter creepitude. The Long-nosed Chimaera is the strangest looking one. In fact, we can’t look at this image and not think horrible thoughts.

The long nose contains many sensory nerve endings used to detect small fish in black waters and the spine on its dorsal fin carries venom for defense.

And to make sure you don’t sleep tonight, here is another chimaera named the Elephant Shark – yet another hideous cartilaginous fish with a face that will give you nightmares.

'Elephant shark'. Yet another hideous cartilaginous fish with a face that will give you nightmares.

Oct 18 2009

Creature of the Deep: Frilled Shark

Rare Frilled shark swimming.

This is one no-frills fish.

Very little is known about the ancient, eel-like Frilled Shark. It dwells 600-1000 feet underwater and has rarely been seen. But we understand. This thing is U-G-L-Y. We wouldn’t leave the depths of any ocean looking like this.

Frilled shark with gills.

...in dire need of a makeover.

This species has changed very little since prehistoric times and it certainly shows. Six large gills protrude beyond the wide-set jaw like a swollen wound. An uneven, tattered tail + milky eyes complete the look.

Oct 3 2009

Creature of the Deep: Goblin Shark

Goblin shark teeth.

This creature has needle-like teeth and a jaw that swoops out. Prey = doomed.

This strange, goblinesque shark uses it’s protrusible jaw to snap up fish. The photo above shows the shark with the jaw extended out. Otherwise, the jaws tuck in and the shark appears to have a triangular head and long nose. Regardless, the Goblin Shark is by far the creepiest of all sharks, and we’ve seen quite a few oddities in the deep, dark waters where it lives. Read more here.

For that jaw-swooping action, check out this video:


Goblin Shark displays jaw extensions in slow-mo. Cut to :23

Oct 1 2009

Creature of the Deep: Pacific Barreleye Fish

Do you know an animal that has eyes under a transparent head? Now you do! This unique creature of the deep has tubular eyes beneath it’s dome. Watch the vid.

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