Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teen is First to Witness Hagfish Slurping

Have you ever met a hagfish? 

I ask that question to kids from around the world when I'm with the elephant seals in California

A 14-year-old from the Ukraine caught an elephant seal snag a hagfish.  It's a first.

What's the big deal?  Well, every scientist I know has NEVER seen an elephant seal eat a hagfish, yet they know that these big seals do like to dine on the slimy, eel-like fish that dwell at the ocean's floor cleaning up dead cetaceans.
Female northern elephant seal with newborn. C. Coimbra photo.

The exciting video is not on You Tube yet.  But this link will amaze you:  Ukrainian teen makes rare discovery



And amaze your friends with this from BioTechnology:  "One of the world’s creepiest creatures may be the source of new kinds of petroleum-free plastics and super-strong fabrics, according to research by scientists in Canada studying the hagfish, a bottom-dwelling creature that hasn’t evolved for 300 million years and produces a sticky slime when threatened. The gooey material is actually a kind of protein that turns into choking strands of tough fibers when released into the water."

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