Hagfish embryos!


I've been looking forward to seeing these little jewels in print since I saw Kuratani talk about them at the SICB meetings in January. Hagfish are wonderfully slimy jawless chordates that have been difficult to raise in the lab—although if you poke a whale corpse rotting in the cold deeps you'll find them swarming everywhere. The Kuratani lab has managed to keep animals of the species Eptatretus burgeri alive and healthy in a lab aquarium maintained at cold temperatures (16°C), and has even had success in breeding them. That object to the right is a single hagfish egg, brown and leathery-shelled and surprisingly big—it's an inch and a half long!

They collected 92 eggs, and then another limitation emerged: it took 5-7 months for embryos to develop in a small number of the eggs. Hagfish aren't going to be your typical fast-developing model system, I'm afraid, but they are extraordinarily cool animals, and it's good to see work beginning on them.

Continue reading "Hagfish embryos!" (on Pharyngula)


if I am not mistaken when you buy fine leather goods made of “eelskin” it is actually hagfish that this comes from. I have seen hagfish on display only at the aquarium in Vancouver, so they’re uncommon to see in captivity under any circumstance. The pro sez check ‘em out.


How’d you get past all the No Hagfish In Captivity protesters???

It’s Canada, nothing but backbacon eating toque wearing moosehead drinking bilingual socialized medicine loving incisor missing defensemen.


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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on April 5, 2007 3:38 PM.

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