Sunday, 19 April 2009


Round 2 of the unidentified fish blogs. Here, we go all crypto and look at a U.S.O. from a lake somewhere. (Sadly, we have no idea where, which makes things more confusing). In the film, we see a group of small orange-yellow “things” surfacing and dropping repetedly, before dropping and not reappearing. This is clearly not one animal, so the cameraman's idea that it is a manatee is so wrong that I am going to stop midsentence.

Little groups of the things break off from time to time and disappear quickly. Now, I can think of two suggestions as to what it may be, but they both have their faults.

1. A group of small fish that are being corralled into a ball by an organised group of predators. Depending on where the footage was filmed, it could be a group of bass (small or large mouthed) or perch that are attacting the small fish. This accounts for the rising and falling of the fish in the water column plus the smaller groups splitting off. The disappearence of the fish occurs when the predators are full, and leave to digest their meal. However, if predators were attacking, there would be some splashes from boh the small fish, and larger splashes from the predaors. Plus, bright orange bait fish? I've not seen many species that are this colour.

2. Snakehead fry. Yay! Snakeheads! When snakeheads spawn and the eggs hatch, the parents push the young up to the surface to fill their “lungs” with air. If the babies don’t inflate their “lungs” quickly, they die. Snakehead fry are bright orange-yellow, which accounts for the colour. They are also not prone to jumping out of the wach much, which accounts for the lack of surface movement. The small groups are quickly herded back into the main group by one of he parents, which accounts for the short-lived nature of the small groups. At 2:21 a small fish jumps out of the water. The orange group drops down again, probably because the adults moved off to get rid of this interloper into their area, before surfacing again when the adults push them back up.

This too has its problems. The only footage I have seen of snakeheads exhibiting this behaviour shows them doing it in shallower water, usually with some cover from plants and rocks. The main argument against it however, is that snakeheads are not found in English speaking countries (as natives), and any local would have no trouble identifying a cresh of baby snakeheads as being so. This could well be video footage of introduced snakeheads in the USA breeding (as if there was not enough evidence), if it is indeed from the USA.

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