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Tag archives for freshwater species of the week

Hellbenders Reintroduced in New York: Freshwater Species of the Week

The Eastern hellbender–also called a snot otter, devil dog, mud dog, grampus, or Allegheny alligator–is one of the world’s largest species of salamander. The animal, formally Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, has been declining and is officially listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Much larger than any other salamanders in their range, hellbenders…

Live Bear and Salmon Cams Bring Nature Up Close

Nature programs often show the annual congregation of bears at streams during salmon runs, but few people get to actually see them up close. Now, National Geographic partner Explore.org offers Internet users an intimate look at this feeding frenzy (above, or view cam here). The cam shows live footage from Alaska’s Brooks River in Katmai…

Tiny New Catfish Species: Freshwater Species of the Week

We’ve written before in Water Currents how scientists project that there are many species of freshwater fish yet to be described. Now, scientists have published a report in the journal Zookeys about a new species of catfish, one so tiny that it is among the smallest in the group. Scientists found it in the waters of Rio…

Tiny Transmitters for Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs: Freshwater Species of the Week

On Wednesday, Frank Santana, a researcher at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, released 65 froglets into a Southern California creek. The small amphibians represent new hope for an endangered species, the mountain yellow-legged frog. (We wrote about how specimens of this frog were refrigerated for preservation in 2010, part of the restoration…

Rebirth of Lake Sturgeon: Freshwater Species of the Week

At a fish-rearing facility near Michigan‘s Kalamazoo River, I’m peering inside a big, water-filled tub at lake sturgeon eggs no bigger than BB pellets. Someday these will grow into the biggest fish in North America, but for now, they’re the precious cargo of a state program to bring these freshwater giants back to their native…

Newly Discovered Choctaw Bass: Freshwater Species of the Week

Bass fishing in the American Southeast may have just gotten a little bit more complicated. According to a release filed this week, biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) would like to name a new species of black bass, the Choctaw bass, or Micropterus haiaka.  In 2007, FWC scientists found an unusual DNA…

New Zealand Longfin Eels: Freshwater Species of the Week

New Zealand’s large, slow-growing longfin eels (Anguilla dieffenbachia) are on a “slow path to extinction,” according to an April report by the parliamentary commissioner for the environment. The commissioner has now been joined by a number of scientists in calling for a ban on fishing of the eels, since their numbers have been declining in…

The Turtle and the Town: Freshwater Species of the Week

  The northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica) is a relatively large aquatic turtle that is native to North America. It is named for the lines on its shell, which resemble the contour lines on a map. Map turtles show extreme sexual size dimorphism, which means the genders grow to different sizes. Northern male map turtles…

(Newly Re-described) Arapaima: Freshwater Species of the Week

An iconic freshwater fish of tropical South America, the arapaima is a massive, slender beast that can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) long and weigh 440 pounds (200 kilograms). It is known as the pirarucu in Brazil and the paiche in the western Amazon, and is one of the largest freshwater fish in…

Four Two-Headed Creatures Defy the Odds

We recently covered a two-headed bull shark fetus that was found by a fisherman and described by scientists in a journal. That story got more than ninety comments and more than four thousand Facebook likes, and it got us thinking about what other two-headed creatures might have been found. So in lieu of this week’s…

Philippine Freshwater Crocodiles: Freshwater Species of the Week

This month 36 Philippine freshwater crocodiles were introduced into the wild on Siargao Island, in an effort to bolster the population of this endangered reptile. The Philippine freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), also called the Mindoro crocodile, is found only in the Philippines. The Philippine crocodile shares the island chain with the much more common Indo-Pacific crocodile or saltwater…

American Paddlefish: Freshwater Species of the Week

While one could make a case that pigs should be this week’s Freshwater Species of the Week, since they have turned up by the thousands in a Chinese river, I decided to focus my attention a bit closer to home. Today, authorities announced that eight men have been indicted for alleged trafficking in American paddlefish…

African Manatee: Freshwater Species of the Week

Today, delegates to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok agreed to list the African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) on Appendix I on an interim basis, boosting its protections. A final decision on the species’ status is expected by the time the conference wraps up on March 14, according to Humane Society…

“Monster” Goldfish Multiplying in Lake Tahoe: Freshwater Species of the Week

I’m posting Freshwater Species of the Week a day early because I just caught wind that biologists have discovered “monster” goldfish breeding in Lake Tahoe. I visited Lake Tahoe a few winters ago, and can say with experience that it’s a stunning natural gem. Snow-capped peaks ring the crystal-clear blue water, which supports a diverse…

Newly Discovered Earthworms: Freshwater Species of the Week

As any gardener or farmer should be able to tell you, earthworms can play an important role in ecosystems, by churning up soils, leaving copious amounts of nutrient-rich waste, and serving as food for a wide range of wildlife. Many young students dissect earthworms in biology 101, but there is still a lot we don’t…