On their bellies, sea pigs crawling
Posted March 24, 2008
I usually count on the boys at Zooillogix to post the best news of new creatures first, but I'm disappointed they left out the sea pigs and eelpout in their post on the Tangaroa voyage. Giant starfish and jellyfish? Cool, but let's focus on this horned sea pig, a sea cucumber relative that looks like Satan's finger. Caught almost 10,000 feet below the sea, scouring the seabed for tasty morsels.
Or what about this lyrical discussion of the eelpouts of the Ross Sea? It must be international eelpout week, because AFS just notified me of a new book on a fish I thought was a misprint: The Burbot. Also an eelpout, the burbot lives or once lived in the cold waters of North America. Many burbot populations appear to have been "extirpated", which is usually a fancy way of saying "we ate them and messed up their habitats." I do like that eelpouts look like a bit like pouting eels, and that, according to Wikipedia, they are also called "the lawyer".
I stand corrected: the International Eelpout Festival was in February. Eelpout week is over. Perhaps next year the Antarctic eelpout scientists will make it to Minnesota to show off their 26 species.
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