December 25, 2011 · Uncategorized

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At the year’s end I wanted to post some images of a couple of other cool species I got to photograph this year. The Congo River’s Blind Eel (Mastacembelus brichardi) lives in the rapids area of the Lower Congo River. Science isn’t quite sure yet why it has a morphology of a cave fish…that is it is nearly depigmented and doesn’t have eyes. The Congo River is a turbid river and light is completely cut out of the water column in just a few meters depth; however, there are still plenty of other species of fish living there that have retained their eyes and vision. The lack of eyes and low pigmentation are strange and a mystery for science to work out. I had the good fortune of photographing a couple of specimens and wanted to post them. Likewise, I wanted to include a couple of shots of a male Terrible Poison Frog (Phyllobates terribilis) carrying tadpoles. I hope everyone has a fantastic new year!

The Congo River Blind Eel (Mastacembelus brichardi)

The Congo River Blind Eel (Mastacembelus brichardi)

Mastacembelus brichardi, Individual No1, Image No2, 2011

Mastacembelus brichardi, Individual No1, Image No3, 2011

Mastacembelus brichardi, Individual No1, Image No4, 2011

Mastacembelus brichardi, Individual No2, Image No1, 2011

Mastacembelus brichardi, Individual No2, Image No4, 2011

Mastacembelus brichardi, Individual No2, Image No3, 2011

A Terrible Poison Frog, Phyllobates terribilis, transporting tadpoles.

A Terrible Poison Frog, Phyllobates terribilis, transporting tadpoles.

Terrible Poison Frog, Phyllobates terribilis, transporting tadpoles No7

Happy New Year!

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17 comments on “A Blind Eel from the Congo River and Poison Frog Parental Care….”

  1. Roland Gaulding:

    I believe this site has got some real superb information for everyone.

  2. Jill:

    I saw the eel on a tv special the other evening. Great to see the pictures and see some detail. You have a gift when it comes to photography!


  3. Dante:

    Hi Jill,

    Yes, there is a show that features Congo River deep water fish. Some incredible wildlife deep below the surface of that river! Thanks for your comment.


  4. Jasper:

    I wonder what else lives along the bottom of our rivers and lakes that we haven’t found yet? That is a neat eel.

  5. Boe:

    Hi, I just read texts on your blog and I became interested in the topic. Is there a book on things that live at the bottoms of rivers? Do you have any suggested reading? Thanks.


  6. Dante:

    Hi Boe, I wish I had an answer for you on a book about things living at the bottom of rivers. I’ve got a biodiversity book on its way out now where I have a chapter on the subject. I’ll post info on the book here as it gets closer to coming out. Thanks!!

  7. Logan:

    I am a freshmen in college and for our biology project we are making web sites on venomous organisms. I’m doing mine on the golden poison frog and I need pictures to help decorate the web site. On google I stumbled upon your picture of the frog and I was wondering if I could use it in my web page. It is all non-commercial and I will be sure to cite the picture correctly.


  8. Dante:

    Hi Logan-No problem and good luck!

  9. Juan Castillo:

    do you have an ideas why the eel doesn’t have eyes?

  10. Dante:

    Hi Juan,
    That is a great question. The eels don’t live in particularly deep water but the water is turbid and light doesn’t penetrate much beyond the first few feet. Why this species has reacted to darkness differently than other fish living in the same river is still unknown.
    Cheers & Thanks-Dante

  11. Elba:

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    earlier! I bookmarked it.

  12. Sunny:

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    This site will be famous amid all blogging people, due to
    it’s outstanding content/photos. Thank you for investing the time

  14. QofTheDay:

    A blind eel… no way. So cool

  15. gBOY:

    Love that you talk about wildlife none of us have seen before. More Please!!

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