Monday, April 23, 2012

swamp thing

Back in January I wrote here about some of the problems south Florida is having with invasive species such as giant snakes and lizards in the Everglades, and nine-pound African rats in the Keys.

The subtropical jungle-like habitats of south Florida provide an ideal home-away-from-home environment for all manner of gigantic reptiles. Now there's word that the region has been invaded by aquatic monsters as well as terrestrial serpents and rodents; the new menace is an armored catfish not at all similar to its cousin, the smooth-skinned catfish that are good to eat.

This is in essence nothing more than a bulked-up version of the sucker catfish people use in their fishbowls and aquariums to keep the sides free of scum. But behavior that's beneficial in a bowl quickly turns destructive in the wild, and the damage the fish wreaks on shoreline vegetation can severely erode banks, causing them to lose up to ten feet of earth.

Prospects for controlling these suckerfish are not good, as there are millions of them living in the fresh waters of south Florida, plus they've spread westward as far as Texas. The armored catfish has no known natural predator.

This is just one more insane clusterschnazzle brought to us by modern life, although this one is certainly more exotic and entertaining, as well as a lot less potentially lethal than global climate change or the threat of nuclear war.

2 comments:

Fannybobanny said...

Just so you know I still read your blog: typo: their are million

Dave B, a.k.a. catboxer said...

Hey, thankks Jules. You'e a god poofreader.

believe it or not, I caught it this morning while glancing at this piece.

'but I don't alwas, so h4reby athorize you to discover & point out spelling & typograpical airs at any our of the day orn ight.