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8 foot eel larvae

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#1    El Diablo

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Posted 15 September 2003 - 10:45 PM

Yeh, I'm a newbie.  Anyway, I remember reading in a book from my school library in elementary school about this giant eel larvae that . It even had a picture to go with it. Anybody have any info on this?  

#2    Kismit



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Posted 16 September 2003 - 12:09 AM

Welcome aboard Eldiablo ,
  Courtesy of the strange mag site .....
The case of the bottled sea serpent brings to attention another eel-shaped controversy. On January 31, 1930, while south of Africa's Cape of Good Hope, the Danish research vessel Dana captured what seemed to be an enormous leptocephalus (eel larva), which was duly preserved, bottled, and retained thereafter in Copenhagen University's Zoological Museum. It was a truly extraordinary specimen, for whereas the leptocephalus of the common eel Anguilla anguilla measures a diminutive 3 in. long and metamorphoses into an adult eel generally around 412 ft., the Dana's monstrous leptocephalus was already 6 ft. 112 in. long!

Accordingly, ichthyologists speculated that if its species' rate of growth equalled that of the common eel, the unknown adult form of the Dana larva might well attain incredible lengths of 108-180 ft.! The creature would be, in short, a super-eel, as postulated by cryptozoologist Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans when predicting identities for the types of beasts responsible for the voluminous collection of sea serpent reports on record. Sadly, however, it was not to be.

In 1970, University of Miami ichthyologist Dr. David G. Smith revealed that the Dana leptocephalus was not the larva of a true eel, but of a quite different eel-like fish known as a notacanthid or spiny eel. What makes this identification so devastating for its claim to fame as a bona fide sea serpent is that notacanthids undergo most of their growth before transformation of the larva into the adult, not after (as true eels do). That is to say, adult notacanthids are scarcely longer in length than their larvae--which means that the Dana larvae's length was nothing special at all, and would not have increased to any great extent if it had survived and transformed into an adult. Exit the bottled sea serpent!


#3    Seraphina


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Posted 16 September 2003 - 12:56 PM

Not so far fetched...if you think about it, 180ft wouldn't be so out of the way, by prehistoric standards, that isn't all that huge...it's possible that some examples of ancient marine creatures could still survive today; rare, but by no means extinct.

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