The weekly weird

01 Aug 2020

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‘Walking’ sharks discovered in Australia

A new species of shark has been discovered in Australia use their fins to ‘walk’ on land. The sharks walk around on the bottom of the sea floor, in waters off Northern Australia. Research published in the journal Marine & Freshwater Research says it appears to help the sharks hunt for ground-dwelling prey.

Experts have been aware of walking sharks in recent years and they say the predators have big advantages by being able to move along the sea floor rather than swimming.

Mark Erdmann, a co-author of the study, said: “We’ve found that most walking sharks spend their entire lives on the same reef they where they hatched — never really moving more than a mile out of this radius.”

He added that the team of researches intend to study the walking sharks further and learn more about their habits. Walking sharks are still a poorly-understood subset of the shark family tree with much more to discover about them.


Bizarre fish with human-like teeth

The photo of an odd fish with a full set of human-like teeth, caught in Malaysia, was shared thousands of times on Twitter, as people speculated over its identity and questioned whether it was even real.

The local paper, The Rakyat Post has identified it as a triggerfish — which is common in the waters around Malaysia. It is said that there are around 40 species of triggerfish, with most brightly-coloured, make their homes in tropical and subtropical waters.


Rare yellow turtle rescued

Wildlife officials in India said a yellow turtle caught on camera in a village is a rare find that might be the first of its kind to be rescued.

The small yellow turtle was rescued by residents of Sujanpur village, Balasore district, and Susanta Nanda, a Forest Service officer, shared video of the small turtle, saying “most probably it was an albino.” He also shared a video of the turtle swimming in water inside a vessel. The turtle also appeared to have pink eyes, a feature that also indicates albinism.

Wildlife Warden Bhanoomitra Acharya said the turtle’s colour was extremely unusual. “The whole shell and the body of the rescued turtle is yellow. This is a rare turtle, I have never seen one like this.”


Live worm wriggling in tonsil

Medics in Tokyo, Japan, found a four centimetre-long roundworm alive and moving around in the left tonsil of a woman, where it was busy shedding its outer cuticle. The little critter likely set up home in the patient’s tonsil via raw fish dishes she had been eating.

The species plucked from her throat was a nematode roundworm, according to the case study in The American Medical Journal of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine. The worm was a fourth-stage larva, with a black-coloured body 38 mm (nearly 4cm) long and 1 mm wide.

Published in Dawn, Young World, August 1st, 2020