Thursday, February 02, 2012

Strange Fish Surfaces in Cabo

It wasn't until a few years ago that we had ever seen anything like this in Cabo and everybody was baffled. Now a few years later this is the third that has come to our attention and we now know that this odd looking creature is a ratfish or chimera, though there are differing opinions as to which sub-species it is. These catches always cause a stir amongst scientists and they will be visiting the Pisces headquarters tomorrow to take measurements and samples of this newly caught specimen.  This one appears to be a female as it is lacking the "clasper" on the forehead that males have; then again a previous ratfish had four "chicken" like feet,  once the scientists examine it we will have better information.  This ratfish was brought to us by Captain Francisco Rodriguez, who was out on a trip with clients from Mexico City, aboard his 27 ft "Viviana", when he spotted it on the surface two miles before Golden Gate and about six miles offshore. They motored over to investigate as it floated on the surface and lifted it aboard, it was barely alive so they put it back in the water, but it just floated sideways. Francisco said that in his 30 years of fishing he had "never seen anything like it", but that this mother a native of Cabo San Lucas had heard of tales when she was a girl of a strange sea creature with a "dog like head" which he thought it might be. He remembered that he had seen a  photo of  a Pisces captain with a similar fish and decided to bring it in to us.Take a look at the pictures below:
 Here the fish is on ice waiting for the scientists to get here.

 In this photo you can really appreciate the overall length

 A close up of the  head reveals the strange markings and large eye.

 Oscar, whatever you do, don't kiss it!

 You see why, the breath does not look too fresh.

 The strange front flippers looked jointed like a turtle with  no shell

 We don't know what this is but will have an answer soon

Looks fresh here and you can see the markings more clearly

The funny little back flippers/fins probably assist in scuffling along the bottom.