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Freaky fish turns up far inland
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/8105827.html ^

Posted on 07/01/2007 6:18:41 PM PDT by traumer

As soon as he viewed the photo - those fanglike teeth, like something out of a horror movie - John Lundberg knew what the mystery creature was.

"Once you see one of these things, you don't forget it," says Lundberg, curator of fishes at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

It was a wolf eel, a 6-foot-long - docile, despite appearances - inhabitant of deep waters off the North Atlantic coast, including New Jersey.

The puzzle: How did the smelly, half-decomposed specimen get to a fox den in Hunterdon County?

Susan Goeckeler had been walking with her dogs on her 50-acre farm outside Frenchtown one afternoon about six weeks ago when she came across the unusual jaws.

Her sons Rowan, 7, and Jarred, 13, are always finding snakeskins and skulls and such, "but usually we can identify them."

She called a neighbor who hunts, thinking it might be a bear skull. Nope.

Jarred, a seventh grader, took it to school. No luck there. Nor online.

Goeckeler finally brought photos to the state wildlife management office in nearby Clinton.

Baffled, the staff asked her to bring in the jaw. They checked with colleagues in the endangered species program next door. Same deal.

"We're all terrestrial guys," says principal biologist Kelcey Burguess. Still, he says, the evidence was unmistakable, not to mention overpowering: "It had a fish smell."

Photos went from there to state fisheries folks, who forwarded them to the museum in Philadelphia.

That's where the specimen is now. The staff has immersed it in a bath of alcohol, "trying to take the edge off" the stench, Lundberg says.

The curator of fishes says he doesn't know which of several wolf eel species it is, but the genus is Anarhichas. And it's not a true eel, he says, but a type of fish that is edible.

"They're on the bottom and hang out in rocks, poking their heads out and snagging crabs," he says, adding that the creature breaks the hard shells with its powerful jaws. "It looks just like a tool for cracking crabs and lobsters that you get in a restaurant."

The academy plans to display the specimen, along with two others from its collection, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, says research and curatorial assistant Kyle Luckenbill, who will answer questions.

Meanwhile, the question remains: How did a deepwater marine species wind up more than 50 miles from the nearest beach? (A saltwater eel, it could not have swum up the Delaware River.)

Lundberg's best guess is that locals caught it while fishing at the Jersey Shore. Or found it while beachcombing.

Then they brought it home, skipping what would have been his final step:

"I'd bring the head home and mount it."


TOPICS: Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: callingartbell; coastalenvironment; cryptozoology; environment; nj
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1 posted on 07/01/2007 6:18:44 PM PDT by traumer
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To: traumer
Some kid brought it back from the shore in his suitcase, and his mom made him throw it out.

(At least, that's what always happened to US!)

2 posted on 07/01/2007 6:20:42 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: traumer

That’s my mother-in-law......!!


3 posted on 07/01/2007 6:21:21 PM PDT by Osage Orange (molon labe)
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To: traumer
Here is a wolf eel:

It hasn't got the teeth that the partial remains have.
4 posted on 07/01/2007 6:25:40 PM PDT by NCC-1701 (ELIMINATE ORGANIZED CRIME. ABOLISH THE I.R.S.)
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To: traumer
It runs in the family.
5 posted on 07/01/2007 6:25:47 PM PDT by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: traumer

bump


6 posted on 07/01/2007 6:26:56 PM PDT by lowbridge (If Youre Gonna Burn Our Flag, Wrap Yourself in It First /No Oil for Pacifists)
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To: traumer

One of those lived under my bed when I was a little kid!

My parents didn’t believe me either.


7 posted on 07/01/2007 6:30:23 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: traumer

Looks like it came from one of the aliens from “Aliens vs. Predator”.


8 posted on 07/01/2007 6:30:29 PM PDT by Firefigher NC
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To: traumer
Wolf Eel
9 posted on 07/01/2007 6:32:18 PM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto)
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To: NCC-1701

see # 9


10 posted on 07/01/2007 6:33:05 PM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto)
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To: traumer
It was a wolf eel,

I don't think so Ollie.

11 posted on 07/01/2007 6:33:25 PM PDT by chesty_puller (Old burned-out Marines for Fred.)
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To: traumer
...curator of fishes at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

No, No, NO! The word fish is both singular and plural. One fish, two fish, lots of fish, there is no word fishes.
12 posted on 07/01/2007 6:33:59 PM PDT by Talking_Mouse
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To: Talking_Mouse

I think ‘fishes’ is a proper word. Ichthyologists use the term all of the time.


13 posted on 07/01/2007 6:36:44 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter
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To: chesty_puller

14 posted on 07/01/2007 6:37:58 PM PDT by traumer
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To: traumer


15 posted on 07/01/2007 6:41:51 PM PDT by Andy from Beaverton (I'm so anti-pc, I use a Mac)
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To: traumer

Sea Wolf.....Thats a class of submarines.


16 posted on 07/01/2007 6:42:41 PM PDT by TOneocon (The reason there is so much poverty is because of the uneven distribution of capitalism...Rush)
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To: Talking_Mouse
"Fishes" is also acceptable and correct. Main Entry: 1fish Pronunciation: \ˈfish\ Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural fishor fish·es
17 posted on 07/01/2007 6:43:40 PM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic t gehate, t ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille furor gan)
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To: traumer

Wolf eels, the Ichthyological Orthodontist’s wet dream.


18 posted on 07/01/2007 6:45:16 PM PDT by Rb ver. 2.0 (The Republican party of today is the Whig party of the 1850's.)
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To: traumer
That's not a fish, its a rancor skull!


19 posted on 07/01/2007 6:46:13 PM PDT by Domandred (Eagles soar, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines)
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To: MotleyGirl70; Cagey; Larry Lucido

Another mystery solved by Art Vandelay.


20 posted on 07/01/2007 6:47:08 PM PDT by Rb ver. 2.0 (The Republican party of today is the Whig party of the 1850's.)
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To: Talking_Mouse

One fish, two fish, three fish, blue fish.


21 posted on 07/01/2007 6:47:34 PM PDT by ASA Vet
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To: All


22 posted on 07/01/2007 6:50:21 PM PDT by Flavius
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To: traumer

http://www.thejump.net/1fishphoto4/photo13.htm

23 posted on 07/01/2007 6:54:20 PM PDT by lowbridge (If Youre Gonna Burn Our Flag, Wrap Yourself in It First /No Oil for Pacifists)
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To: traumer
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
24 posted on 07/01/2007 6:54:21 PM PDT by dragonblustar
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To: dragonblustar

stop it. You’re insulting the fish.


25 posted on 07/01/2007 6:58:55 PM PDT by UglyinLA
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To: Westlander

Isn’t that the creature from the Fred Ward, Kevin bacon flick “Tremors”?


26 posted on 07/01/2007 7:01:44 PM PDT by skepsel
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To: traumer

Somebody had one in their aquarium, and it died, and they threw it out where the foxes got it and dragged it home to their den.


27 posted on 07/01/2007 7:01:54 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: traumer


28 posted on 07/01/2007 7:04:16 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Talking_Mouse
Fishes for multiple varieties of fish.
29 posted on 07/01/2007 7:07:20 PM PDT by null and void (Tired of living in the shadows? Move to Sunny Mexico!)
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To: chesty_puller

I’m with you General. Those jaws are mighty big. I can’t imagine the monster that was attached to that set!

Anybody check Loch Ness?


30 posted on 07/01/2007 7:07:49 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: null and void

Or for individual fish(es) served as food.


31 posted on 07/01/2007 7:11:01 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

“It’s number 4 Captain, I’ll never forget his toothy grin as he ate my leg!”


32 posted on 07/01/2007 7:11:12 PM PDT by Doc Savage ("You couldn't tame me, but you taught me.................")
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To: Flavius

It would have to be one-hell of a fish to have jaws that size!


33 posted on 07/01/2007 7:12:11 PM PDT by oneamericanvoice (Support freedom! Support the troops! Surrender is not an option!)
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To: Westlander

He He He He He He . . .


34 posted on 07/01/2007 7:12:31 PM PDT by Greg F (<><)
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To: traumer
"The staff has immersed it in a bath of alcohol,"

I knew alcohol was involved somehow. Maybe the Staff is immersed in alcohol.

35 posted on 07/01/2007 7:15:39 PM PDT by BallyBill (Serial Hit-N-Run poster)
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To: Westlander

Behold! Her Heinous, The bride of Beelzeflubba!


36 posted on 07/01/2007 7:16:46 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: Talking_Mouse

>No, No, NO! The word fish is both singular and plural.

Grammar Nazi! =)


37 posted on 07/01/2007 7:23:01 PM PDT by ROTB (Our Constitution...only for a [Christian] people...it is wholly inadequate for any other.-J.Q.Adams)
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To: Talking_Mouse

“Alistair Underwater” labelled it a Gooze.


38 posted on 07/01/2007 7:24:55 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG...)
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To: traumer

You decide.

39 posted on 07/01/2007 7:24:56 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (I buy gas for my SUV with the Carbon Offsets I sell on Ebay!)
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To: NCC-1701
It hasn't got the teeth that the partial remains have.

If that was a partial, I'd hate to see the full dentures!

40 posted on 07/01/2007 7:25:33 PM PDT by Socratic (Never be afraid to try something new. An amatuer built the Ark, Professionals built the Titanic.)
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To: Greg F

I carefully chose who to respond to. I choose you and I agree, hehehehehe diggity sniggity murmurmur...lol!


41 posted on 07/01/2007 7:28:00 PM PDT by VaRepublican (I would propagate tag lines but I don't know how...)
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To: traumer

42 posted on 07/01/2007 7:29:39 PM PDT by mirkwood ("May noise never excite us to battle, or confusions reduce us to defeat.")
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To: dragonblustar

I knew that was coming


43 posted on 07/01/2007 7:33:41 PM PDT by spanalot
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To: Domandred

The Rancor Keeper is upset at this thread

44 posted on 07/01/2007 7:43:51 PM PDT by xp38
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To: mirkwood

That little girl must have some really bad breath.


45 posted on 07/01/2007 7:48:43 PM PDT by Eaker (Free The Texas 3 - Ramos, Compean and Hernandez)
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To: girlangler

ping a ling!


46 posted on 07/01/2007 8:05:53 PM PDT by Grammy ("Ms Pelosi is a very difficult person to embarrass." Fred Thompson, 4/11/07)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

Hold the presses, I think we’ve found Helen Thomas’ sister!


47 posted on 07/01/2007 8:50:28 PM PDT by WVNan
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To: dragonblustar

Well, I see we had the same thought.


48 posted on 07/01/2007 8:52:17 PM PDT by WVNan
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To: dragonblustar
Gad. Can you imagine going through life with that face? No wonder she's such a bit*h
49 posted on 07/01/2007 9:50:31 PM PDT by maine-iac7 ( "...but you can't fool all of the people all the time." LINCOLN)
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To: maine-iac7
My 1'st post on Free Republic. 2 of my relatives (been around since Freepers was founded),have wanted me to sign up, I just did, I think that it was all a plant to get the media involved, why else would this mostly decomposed creature be their?
50 posted on 07/02/2007 12:59:12 AM PDT by mimic31u10
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