December 14, 2006

I'm Not Making This Up

Posted by: Rebecca Durkin

This week, the world’s tallest man, Bao Xishun, who stands at 7 feet 9 inches, saved the lives of two captive dolphins by reaching in to their stomachs to remove disruptive plastic shards. Yes, you read that correctly.

Sounds to me like the aquarium that houses these dolphins was being incredibly resourceful when they came up with this plan to save the animals after surgical instruments failed to get the job done.

So what’s the Burke’s connection to this strange but true story? Our very own curator of fishes, Ted Pietsch, shares real estate with Bao Xishun in the Guinness Book of World Records. Not for his own size, but for the size of his discovery – the world’s tiniest known vertebrate. Ted collected a species of anglerfish, Photocorynus spiniceps, in the Philippine Sea that measured merely 0.24 inches in length.

World’s tallest man working with average-sized marine life, please meet average-sized man working with world’s smallest marine life.

- Rebecca