Friday, December 30, 2005

The Catfish and The Manatee Were swimming close at hand

The Daytona Beach News-Journal is reporting that suckermouth sailfin catfish (the exact species is unclear, though it is likely Hypostomus plecostomus or a relative) have invaded Blue Spring State Park in Florida, and the manatees there are not happy about it. Seems the catfish are physically harassing the manatees by eating the algae that grows on their skin. The manatees have responded by moving their local hangout further towards the mouth of the river adjacent to Blue Spring. The catfish, native to Brazil, are thought to be aquarium escapees. The West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) that come to Blue Spring every season are federally listed endangered species.

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