NON-CEPH. Interesting marine discoveries.


TONMO Supporter
Nov 19, 2002
Despite this being a non-ceph piece of news, I thought readers, doubtless interesting in all forms of underwater bizarre fauna, would be interested to know that the 18th recorded megamouth shark may have been spotted last Monday off the coast of California. Here's a link but no photos I'm afraid:

Megamouth news

Two other stories closer to Steve and Kat;

Megalodon teeth have just been dredged up by a NIWA vessel near Norfolk Island:

Megalodon discovery

And finally, an exceptionally rare specimen of the Ginkgo Toothed Beaked Whale was washed up last month on a Taranaki beach and will hopefully go on display at the Te Papa museum in Wellington soon. This is the first for New Zealand and twentieth in the world. This whale is believed to be another species which feeds on fish and squid, grows to about five meters in length and was named after the shape of its teeth which resemble the leaves of the ginkgo tree.

Gingko stranding 1

Gingko stranding 2

I wondered what Steves and Kats thoughts are on this rare stranding and if they had had a chance to examine the specimen, despite it being 'vertebrate filth'?
Steve is brain dead Phil and not thinking about anything at all; heard about those big teeth, but that's the first wind of the whale (for me); incredible that a whale can be known from so few specimens ... (3 periods).
A few more interesting deep-water marine creatures have been reported recently in Australian and NZ waters, including jewel squid, goblin shrimp and sea spiders. Though not particularly specific, this is quite an interesting short article relating to a particular research expedition:

PM with David Lipson - ABC Radio
Wow, great link Phil. Just another of many examples of how much work there is to be done. What an exciting time to be working in marine biology, ay Steve and Kat?
incredible that a whale can be known from so few specimens ...

Check out the whale Mesoplodon perrini described within the last 12 months from 4 specimens washed up in California. (Marine Mammal Science 2002). Seems those Californians need to do some more biodiversity surveys closer to home.
Very cool, quite a small one compared to some of the other specimens...

As a BTW did you see the Animal Camera programme with the basking sharks? They figured out that the sharks dont hibernate or even migrate like has always been thought but the sharks seem to desend right down to the deepest trenches around the UK for the winter
:shock: In that Megamouth article link it said that 3 sperm whales were seen attacking a megamouth..... they must have gotten tired of the calamari diet :whalevsa:
... that's a rather bizarre observation, given the sperm whale almost exclusively eats squid .... or so they say. Guess it's a little more catholic than we thought.

Tiz a wee small one this one; very nice museum specimen. I always thought they grew a lot bigger (than ~ 5 metres, as reported); must have been a pic I saw of one of these animals, shark in the foreground, diver in the back; tends to distort perception of scale.
chrono_war01 said:
So many Megamouths, what are they doing playing 'let's all die and let the humans examine us''?

It's more a problem of "let's fish more and more and we'll get weird stuff cuz we killed everything else" :mad:
Reminds me of that day we did a Deep Sea Conservation awareness thing with :oshea: and Matt. Some guy came along and told us that we should be thankful for bottom trawling because without it we'd never see those fish.... :roll:

Maybe if they didn't trawl so much, we would've learned more about them. They should have given poeple research funds to find out more, then we will know how much we can catch and where to protect. It's really sad to know that much of these places are being destroyed without being seen in its natural form :sad:
Steve O'Shea said:
.incredible that a whale can be known from so few specimens ... ....

Actually ginko toothed whales are relatively common with 20 specimens recorded - Mesoplodon perrini, a new species of beaked whale is described on the basis of five animals stranded on the coast of California (between 32°55′N, 117°15′W and 36°37′N, 121°55′W) from May 1975 to September 1997, but then they are still finding new species of centipedes in New Yorks central park . . .
chrono_war01 said:
It's really sad to know that much of these places are being destroyed without being seen in its natural form :sad:

Unfortunately its not just trawling......the results of the January survey of bonobos in the Congo has just been announced: number of wild bonobos counted = zero.
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