Pictured below (Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channel): Zeb discusses what he is going to do with the pregnant stingray. © IFA
The Hooked series will appeal to the fishing sportsman and to those interested in science and the state of some of the world’s largest fish. Tonight’s episode deals with Dr. Justin Grubich’s attempts to get tooth imprints from the pacu, which has human-like teeth, and the ‘vampire’ fish or Payara with its two-inch fangs. Dr Grubich hopes to gain insight into how the fish are adapting to changes in the food chain due to pollution.
Also featured in this episode are the Goliath tiger fish of the Congo, Australia’s great white shark and the alligator gar of the southeastern United States.
Up to his knees in mangrove mud, David Attenborough expounds on mudskippers, the coelacanth and lungfish:
(Thanks to Kevin Zelnio on Facebook)
— The Rehabilitation of Princess Caraboo
(He’s baaaaack! Too)
— The exploding Taiwanese sperm whale
— Kalathomyrmex: New Genus, Old Species
(He’s baaaaack! (Three). Attine ants and patterns of evolution)
— What is the difference between HMS Beagle and RMS Titanic?
(On misplaced priorities)
Jennifer A. Clack of the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge looks at the many fossil links we now have between early fish and four-legged animals:
The Abstract: Our information on the transition between fish with fins and tetrapods with limbs and digits has increased manyfold in the last 15–20 years and especially in the last 5 or 10 years, with some spectacular finds of new material. Some of these include new tetrapod-like fish and very primitive tetrapods that help to resolve questions of the sequence of acquisition of tetrapod characters, the approximate timing of the events, the likely geographic location, and the circumstances under which it happened. Forelimbs and skulls became modified in advance of hind limbs, adapted for supporting the head and front of the body out of the water, probably in connection with air breathing. The likely time of origin for limbed tetrapods is between 385 and 380 million years ago, probably in the northern continent of Laurussia. The origin of limbed tetrapods did not coincide with the acquisition of full terrestriality, an outcome that probably arose in the Early Carboniferous. This later part of the story is documented by few fossils, though two in particular give key information. Studies of modern vertebrates, especially the evolutionary developmental genetics of Hox genes, are beginning to provide clues to the origin of digits.
(Hat-tip to Why Evolution is True)
From the BBC
Scientists have discovered a highly unusual fish with fangs made of bone.
Dubbed the “Dracula” fish, the creature is about 17mm (0.7 inches) long and has been found in only one Burmese stream.
The researchers, from London’s Natural History Museum (NHM), believe the fish lost its teeth over evolutionary time, but later evolved the bone fangs.
Read the complete article here.
The find is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
- Spectacular morphological novelty in a miniature cyprinid fish, Danionella dracula n. sp. Ralf Britz, Kevin W Conway and Lukas Rüber.
The Pacific Barrel Eye, as seen on National Geographic:
And for more information and links, see the entry at Deep Sea News.