Behold the paddlefish, peacefully going about its business of feeding on microscopic plankton. Like the basking shark, it swims with its mouth gaping wide open, with its gills to filter out the goodies. If it weren’t for the paddle, you might mistake it for a freshwater basking shark.
But it only looks like a paddle. It’s packed with special sense organs to help the fish find food.
Paddlefish fossils are found all over the world, but today these fish live only in the Mississippi River and some of its tributaries. Up until recently they also lived in China; but with their customary reckless disregard for just about everything, the communists have driven the Chinese paddlefish into extinction. Along with the freshwater whale… and the Chinese alligator has just about had it, too.
I would love to see one of these in person, underwater. But it ain’t gonna happen in New Jersey.