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NATURE IS SO WEIRD!

Did you know that eels go through a larval stage? I didn't until I came across this video last night.

Apparently this is a ribbon eel, in the moray family, and its larval stage consists of it being an approx. 3" wide, 2-foot long TRANSPARENT body with a little head stuck on the end. And then it will go away, and become a real eel. How freaky is that?




LOOK AT ITS LITTLE FACE!

Also according to the write-up, you seldom get footage of eels in this stage, because since they are transparent, it's hard for divers to find them.

It's just mesmerizing to watch.

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Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
ioianthe
Sep. 4th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
!!!! o_O
eregyrn
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, that was pretty much my reaction.
okojosan
Sep. 4th, 2011 01:44 am (UTC)
I saw this a few weeks ago. I should have passed it on to you then. :D It is very cool! I wonder what it looks like when the eel eats something.
eregyrn
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
I read something on Wikipedia that suggested that people puzzled for a long time over the fact that you couldn't see the results of their having ingested phytoplankton, which you would expect, and that the theory now is that they ingest even smaller particles that you can hardly see. Or something like that.
jenlev
Sep. 4th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
Holy. Bat. Dren. I take it all back, that is wonderfully awesome. And I mean awesome in the true meaning of that word. Wow.

Of course, that poor little eel is traumatized for life and to this very day tells all the other eels about the day the strange swimming creatures with bright lights chased it to Hezmana and back. *veg*
eregyrn
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
It's so optimistic that you think there is room for a BRAIN in there...
jenlev
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
Bwaahahahaah! Well, I suppose that comes from living with a certain alien. *cough*
keiko_kirin
Sep. 4th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
!!! I had no idea! I love eels, anyway, and this just makes them cooler. Its face is so cute!
eregyrn
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
I know, right? I love that little big-eyed open-mouth look. (I tend to think eels are cute, anyway; even morays are kind of cute in an evil way.)
raqs
Sep. 5th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
I have a colleague who's been a fisherman all his life, and so was his dad and HIS dad, and he pointed out to me recently that people still don't know how eels actually reproduce. In fifty years his friend the fishmonger has never once cut up a female eel - that is, an eel full of eggs. Apparently sometimes you get an older eel that seems to be covered with smaller bits of eel... They may sprog. But no one really knows. There's a rumor that they reproduce in this one sea, but that's only because people find smaller ones there than anywhere else, and the theory is they grow as they migrate.
eregyrn
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
See, that's just EVEN FREAKIER.

WHAT THE HELL, EELS.
raqs
Sep. 5th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
Zactly. It's the kind of thing you figure isn't true ("that's just a schoolyard story") till you look it up and you see all the articles are like "Oh yes, they have eggs... we're sure they do" and "They seem to come from this area and migrate out. We think." There's not a lot of clarity.

Clearly they come from the center of the earth and don't want anyone to know.

Whereas in other news NPR was recently reporting that based on the size and convolution of sperm whale brains, researchers now speculate that they not only have names, they have ethics. Because they know they can damage each other's hearing while just tootling around in the ocean and they, you know, don't. the guy (i can't find the story) was speculating about what sorts of Deep Thoughts they do have. They don't seem to have the sorts of Deep Thoughts that would lead them to, like, talk to us. Or if they do our Deep Thoughts can't match them yet. Maybe they think Deep Thoughts about existence 'n junk. Researchers do think that they are self-aware, that they know that I am I and Bob is that whale over there.

Meanwhile, WTF EELS WHERE DO YOU COME FROM???
katie_m
Sep. 5th, 2011 04:31 am (UTC)
THAT'S NOT RIGHT WHERE ARE ITS INTERNAL ORGANS

(non-existent while metamorphosing, I see. WHICH IS WRONG WHERE ARE ITS INTERNAL ORGANS)
eregyrn
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
If you look really closely, you can see how there's a very faint line extending back from the head through the center of the ribbon body. Apparently, that's it as far as internal organs go. Which, you know, reminds me a lot more of an earthworm than something that belongs to the phylum chordata.

Speaking of which, for something that grows up into a bony fish, WHERE ARE ITS BONES. How does it have a head already, but only later spontaneously develop internal organs and bones like a real animal?

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )