31 Mar 2008
What happened to the Runswick ratfish?
Blogged about here. Well, it turned out that he (he was a he, both his claspers were on rather prominent display) was a rare find on the North Sea coast.
I was put in touch with the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth which runs the UK Marine Fish Recording Scheme, whose splendid Douglas Herdson emailed a form for me to fill in with details of the rat fish's location and vital statistics.
Chimaera monstrosa - an albino one, remember - is still in the freezer awaiting a £5 million bid, cheques payable to The HMS Beagle Trust. This blog is less than a year old, and already walking this bit of coastline with intent to look and record has given up a fossil which experts still haven't pronounced on and now a fish which is a rare find, along with all the many other delights I have been lucky to see during my more purposeful walks.
In these days of micro-molecular-genomic biology carried out in labs by highly qualified scientists with Equipment, it is good to know that we amateurs can keep our eyes peeled and with a bit off luck and persistance contribute the odd data point.