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'Vampire' fish found in Australian waters

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  • 'Vampire' fish found in Australian waters

    By Kathy Marks


    London - Australian and New Zealand scientists have identified more than a hundred new species of fish in the waters that divide the two countries as well as rarely seen species with strange habits and sex lives.

    A deep-sea research ship, the Tangaroa, probed the Tasman Sea for a month in 2003, snaring 500 species of fish and 1 300 species of invertebrates that are now being studied by scientists around the world. The 24 researchers aboard the ship also found the fossilised tooth of an extinct megalodon - a shark twice the size of the great white.

    The project, funded by Australia's National Oceans Office and New Zealand's ministry of fisheries, uncovered weird and wonderful sea dwellers including fish with tongues covered in teeth and fish with hinged teeth that enable them to swallow large meals.

    Another creature, the Pacific spookfish, uses its long snout like a metal detector to search out the electrical impulses of prey concealed in the seabed.

    'He drinks her blood in return for giving her sperm'
    Among the species hauled in from more than two kilometres beneath the waves was the dumbo octopus, which navigates through the water with the help of a pair of flaps. According to Mark Norman, a senior curator at Museum Victoria, it looks like "the cartoon character Dumbo the Flying Elephant".

    But perhaps the most curious creature discovered by the scientists, who came from a collection of museums, universities and government agencies in the two countries, was the deep sea angler fish.

    Norman said the female was the size of a tennis ball, with "big savage teeth, little nasty pin eyes - and a rod lure off the top of its head with a glowing tip to coax in stupid prey", while the male looked like "a black jellybean with fins".

    During copulation, the male bites into the side of the female, hanging on like a bulldog. "He drinks her blood in return for giving her sperm," he said.

    The flesh of the two fish then fuses and they remain permanently connected. "It's like sexual vampirism, with a bit of dwarfism thrown in," Norman said.

    'They have found females with up to six males attached'
    "They have found females with up to six males attached."

    Scientists from 11 research organisations took part in the four-week voyage to conduct the first detailed survey of the deep-sea life around the submerged mountains of the northern Tasman Sea. They explored the habitats around the underwater peaks and plains near Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island, which lie between Australia and New Zealand.

    Norman said that "probably over 100" of the fish and invertebrate species discovered were either unrecognised or new to science.

    The scientists brought up one cup of sand that alone contained 250 species of tiny snails. They found giant sea spiders, which bear no resemblance to land spiders, but have such small bodies that some of their organs are situated in their legs.

    They were also intrigued by the fangtooth, a fish that Norman described as "one of the most savage looking of all the deep-sea fishes". It has two sharp teeth that poke out of its bottom jaw and slide into pockets in its head, preventing it from stabbing itself in the brain.

    Among the new species identified was a deep-water batfish that walks along the ocean bed. Norman said: "Their fins are almost modified into legs, and the head comes to a point like a unicorn. It's pretty weird."

    The scientists collected biodiversity samples, DNA tissue samples and data on seabed habitats as well as taking photographs and video footage.
    \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

    \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

  • #2
    Yes, Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me.
    Look what bizarre creatures they have in Bavaria:

    http://www.bayernshop24.de/lshop,sho...owrub--21,.htm

    Regards,
    L'Etranger
    Google ergo sum

    Comment


    • #3



      hey...never saw one of those before.... :P

      Comment


      • #4
        They hand out broshures and stuff advising you to drive carefully in Bavaria because of those ...!
        Google ergo sum

        Comment


        • #5
          And why not! Bavaria can have that...whatever it is...

          In the midwest, we have the Jackalope!
          "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
          --Thomas a Kempis

          Comment


          • #6
            [quote="EverKing"]And why not! Bavaria can have that...whatever it is...

            In the midwest, we have the Jackalope![/quo]

            Bravo, but what is it?
            Cross-bred antelope and Jackass?
            Google ergo sum

            Comment


            • #7
              Cross-bred antelope and Jackass?
              No, that would be silly. :roll: The two animals are too close to the same size, for crying out loud. The Jackalope is the remarkably logical union of an antelope and a jackrabbit.

              Here we see the elusive Jackalope in the wild!

              http://www.cavalcadeofwhimsy.com/swa.../jackalope.jpg

              Here's how they look on your wall (most common habitat):

              http://www.sleestak.net/photos/beerstuff/jackalope.jpg
              "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
              --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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              • #8
                We have another astounding creature here in the U.S. It is able to function without a brain. It's called a Right Wing Fundamentalist.
                WWED -- What Would Elric Do?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Marie-Bernadette
                  We have another astounding creature here in the U.S. It is able to function without a brain. It's called a Right Wing Fundamentalist.
                  :lol:

                  Yes, especially the crimson-throated biblethumper. Of course, they're not much to look at and despite their pretty songs, they'll peck the crap out of you.
                  "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                  --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marie-Bernadette
                    We have another astounding creature here in the U.S. It is able to function without a brain. It's called a Right Wing Fundamentalist.
                    Hi, Marie-Bernadette! I sure hope the hunting season for it is all year round.
                    Google ergo sum

                    Comment

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