The Ganges River Dolphin is a bit of an oddball in the Dolphin species, commonly found in rivers around India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Also in the Indian ocean and oceans surrounding these countries. What makes this dolphin different from other dolphins is that it’s known as the “blind dolphin”. This is because its eyes are for locating itself, don’t really need its eyes in the areas they live in. Instead they use the big fins they have to trail the bottom of the floor to find food. Growing from sizes of 2.12 to 2.67 meters, and live for around 10ish years.
Currently the Ganges River Dolphin is labeled as ‘Threatened’ on the IUCN red list. For those who don’t know the ICUN (Red List of Threatened Species) is a company that has been given the task of keeping track of the global conservation status of various species. These dolphins are commonly being accidentally caught by fishers and are illegally caught by fishermen and harvested for dolphin oil. Pollution is also another reason for habit loss and forces these dolphins to move out to the oceans to try to survive. This leads to the downfall of the species, because dolphins have to surface for air and there eyes don’t work very well so its hard for them to dive to the ocean floor then rise back for air. Over-fishing is another factor, over-fishing takes food away from the dolphins causing them to migrate further away for food.
The Coelacanth is a very old fish with records dating back to 400 million years ago. Considered to be a living fossil, and were thought to have gone extinct in the Cretaceous period. Which is about 66 million years ago, but was recently found again in 1938. Most commonly found in coastal regions around south Africa, Indian ocean, and the West ocean. The Coelacanth has very thick scales and can live for around 60 years. As well as grow up to 200 pounds and span upwards of seven feet long.
There are currently two surviving species of the Coelacanth left. The ‘Latimeria Chalumnae’ and the ‘Sulawesi’, both of which are one the IUCN red list labeled as vulnerable. For those who don’t know the ICUN (Red List of Threatened Species) is a company that has been given the task of keeping track of the global conservation status of various species. Coelacanth are commonly being accidentally caught in nets from fishers trying to hunt sharks in the Indian ocean and now climate change is causing most of these fish to migrate from where they commonly reside. There are some trade ban laws on these fish, but they aren’t followed very well in places of the coast of South Africa. With populations as low as 230 fish left in the species. On the bright side scientist are trying to pass a new law to have the fish labeled as “threatened” to then gain ESA protection (Endangered Species Act). This may not be all that is needed to help fix the population but it is a great step in the right way.
The Napoleon Wrasse, also known as the Humphead Wrasse, is another fish undergoing conservation in most countries. They can commonly be found living in coral reefs in the pacific ocean. The fish can grow up to seven feet long and can live for up to 50 years. The fish itself is physically known for having big lips, black lines behind its eyes and most known for the massive hump on it’s forehead. Color wise the fish can be found as green and different shades of blue. Most Wrasse will live in small schools for protection from predators and will hide in the reefs.
The reason I choose to bring light to this fish is because it is also on the IUCN Red list. For those who don’t know the ICUN (Red List of Threatened Species) is a company that has been given the task of keeping track of the global conservation status of various species. This means they keep track of how close species are to becoming extinct, and to reduce the threat on those species. The Napoleon Wrasse is labeled as endangered on the red list. This is because of the death of most of the coral reef in Southeast Asia, the use of very harmful fishing strategies used by fishers in Asia, overfishing, aquarium trading, and poor rules set by governments on these costal regions. The aquarium trading market has seen a huge boom in the last couple years and the prices of these exotic species has increased greatly since the discovery of these beautiful fish.
The Beluga Sturgeon, although being discovered in the 1950’s has been on earth since the Triassic period. Which is about 245 million years ago, of course the beluga sturgeon isn’t the same as it was 245 million years ago. The sturgeon has survived since then evolving to become a massive fish with a hard boney exterior armor plates. The sturgeon can commonly be found on the coast of North America and Eurasia. What makes this fish incredibly interesting is that it can live for more than 100 years and range up to 12 feet long. After learning that I didn’t think much else could surprise me about this fish, but then I found the world record for the biggest sturgeon caught. The biggest sturgeon ever caught weighed 3,463 pounds and was 24 feet long. This blew my mind, I wonder how they caught a fish of this size and how long it would’ve taken. I thought catching tuna was hard, this must’ve blow that straight out of the water.
I chose to write about this incredible animal because it is now critically endangered according to multiple world wide red list. According to the IUCN “18 species of sturgeon from all over Europe and Asia and found that all were threatened.” Also according to the same organization the other 27 species of sturgeon are on the red list labeled as critically endangered, like I previously mentioned. Sturgeons are commonly illegally captured for the wild caviar they can produce from their eggs. Which is big money in most Asian countries. Lastly the sturgeon around the world suffer from overfishing and destruction of habitats from pollution forcing the fish to live in unhealthy environments.
The Ancistrus kellerae, is a type of catfish that was discovered in the Amazon. This is one of the weirdest looking fish I have ever seen in my life. In the featured image, you can see the catfish and just how alien like it looks. The eyes are almost albino-like to help see in the murky shallows of the Amazon. The face of the fish has these tentacle like structure coming off of it. This is apparently use to attract mates, the more tentacles the more likely that fish is to reproduce.
The rest of the fish is made completely of armor, which means a bone and scale composition. This is the ridges you can see as you look down to the catfishes tail. Commonly found in South America or as scientist call it the “Guiana Shield”, which is parts of Guyana, Venezuela, and Colombia. A big issue with these fish are that any little change in the water ways can kill these fish. Most health problems found in the fish living there are from agriculture runoff that contains pesticides, removal of habitats, and the byproducts from gold mining. Mining is a problem because once the process of mining is complete, mercury can be found in many of the rocks when looking for gold. Then once everything is cleaned in the facility the water runoff which contains the mercury will go into the rivers and is extremely harmful to all live in that river.
The Sarcastic Fringehead, scientifically known as Neoclinus Blanchardi is a very odd predatorial fish. From an outsiders look at the creature it looks like an ordinary long eel/fish, but once you get in its face its mouth completely opens up like the scene of the Dilophosaurus in Jurassic park. This fish was found in the pacific coast closest to North America. This fish is also extremely predatorial and will let nothing near its home without a fight.
These fish commonly live in shells or holes made underground, they may also fight other crabs for a better shell to live in. This is becoming an issue for the fish because of human intervention. The pollution of the ocean and coast lines make it extremely hard for these animals to live in its natural habitat. Scientist are now finding more and more of the Fringeheads to be living inside empty cans, bottles, and other trash they can find. This can cause many of the fish health problems depending on the item they live in and may even cause them to get stuck inside of there home. I found it very interesting how in many of the researchers that encountered this rare fish have had issues with these fish attacking them. Even to go as far as the fish biting through divers wet suits and leaving holes. To think that a tiny fish like this can bite through a wet suit I wonder how much damage it could do to someone’s finger.
The Frilled Shark, scientifically know as “Chlamydoselachus Anguineus” is a terrifying creature that’s body resembles an eel. The name of the shark comes from its snake like head that opens up to look like a prehistoric dinosaur. On each side of its body are frill like gills which allow the creature to live very deep in the ocean. The biggest recorded Frilled shark ever caught was nearly seven feet long, and was found to live up to 25 years. They can also be commonly found at depths of 5,000 feet in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
Scientist have come to the conclusion that these sharks hunt by waiting for prey to come to them and then striking them like a snake does. Not to much else is know of these rare creatures. The IUCN, a company that records all data of endangered/threatened species says the Frilled shark is no where near being on the list. Rarely commercial fishers will pull up a shark or two but they are not in any danger. To my surprise there was a group of researchers who tried to care for a Frilled shark in a man made aquarium, but couldn’t recreate the same environment for the shark to thrive in. It was then said it died a few hours later.
The Hawksbill sea turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian oceans and is considered a tropical turtle. It is also a highly endangered species and is under extreme watch conditions to try and revive the population. What makes this turtle so special is that it’s shell can glow in the dark. The outer shell of this turtle can vary from a neon red to a lime green color. This is beneficial for a sea turtle to be able to attract prey, scare off other predators and finally to communicate with other turtles. The turtle itself can grow up to 150 pounds and live for around 50 years.
Like many other sea creatures human intervention is the downfall for their species. Overfishing is one of the most impacting factors in why the population is declining rapidly. Another factor is that when these turtle go to lay their eggs on a beach, people will come and harvest the eggs and sell them illegally on the market. It really is upsetting to see such a beautiful creature struggle to survive because of what we force them through. There needs to be more laws and protective services to protect the younglings from poachers and overfishing. Finally as most people know the pollution in our oceans is one of the biggest factors in why these turtles are dying. The sponges and all other waste, such as straws and plastic objects are being eaten by turtle, which then lead to them dying. This is constantly being talked about on the news, I just hope we will find a solution to clean up the oceans, before all the species in it die off.
The Genie’s dogfish, scientifically known as the Squalus Clarkae was found in the depths of the Golf of Mexico. The shark itself is only around 20 to 28 inches long, but it’s most interesting quality is how big it’s eyes are. According to researchers, it’s hard to determine a new species just from looking at the animal itself. A process must be done by taking a sample of its blood and looking at it’s genetics. This will show the evolutionary process the creature has been through as well as it’s morphology.
Most new shark species being found are in low population sizes because of shark finning and overfishing. The problem is that when these fishing boats go out in Gulf or the Atlantic ocean, they go out fishing at depths where most of these deep water sharks live in. This causes the sharks to be accidentally caught. This may not be the intent for the fishers, but after being caught if the fishermen decide to release the sharks the chances for the creature to live are cut severely. I think that governments need to focus on creating more laws to prevent fishermen from overfishing, and increase the number of people who will actually enforce the laws. This is a big problem is areas near the Atlantic ocean, where most ocean species of fish are on the brink of extinction. This needs to change otherwise the oceans may not ever recover from the human races mistakes.
The pocket shark, or scientifically known as “Mollisquama Parini”, which resembles a sperm whale was recently found in the gulf of Mexico. The shark itself is only 12 centimeters long, but what scientist have found is that the sharks organs actually produce light. This would allow the shark to glow in the depths of the ocean. Scientist have only been able to capture one other of these specimen previously, and that was in 1979 in Russia.
The nickname “Pocket Shark” isn’t from how small the shark actually is, but rather from the pocket like hole found under its pectoral fins. After looking through a few articles published by various sites, it seems that the pocket shark is a very rare find. It also amazes me how well adapted these creatures are to its environment. These species of sharks are so adapted to living in the depth of the ocean that there own organs can produce a liquid that makes there body glow. It all seems so surreal to me that all these creatures actually exist.