Doctors Determine What Killed "Splash"

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Flatheadhunter33, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Yuma, Arizona
    Doctors Determine What Killed ‘Splash’
    Dr. Andy Gluesenkamp, a skeletal preparator for the Texas Natural Science Center (TNSC) in Austin, and his colleagues have discovered what probably killed “Splash,” the former world record blue cat: severe damage to bone in its jaw area.
    Gluesenkamp noticed the damage while “skeletalizing” the 121.5-pound Lake Texoma cat caught by Cody Mullennix of Howe, Texas, on Jan. 16, 2004, after its death.
    “It’s hard to tell if the injury was a break that got infected, or if the bone became so infected it simply fell apart,” he says. “She sustained that injury a long time ago. The bone basically rotted away. I would not be surprised if that was where she took the hook, and bacteria got inside the bone. I’m not a fish veterinarian, but I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the injury was what killed the fish.”
    An examination of the bones by Dr. Dean Hendrickson, Curator of Ichthyology for TNSC, confirmed Gluesenkamp’s suspicions. “Andy was definitely right. Splash clearly had a nasty infection that had been festering for some time,” Hendrickson says.
    Hendrickson’s analysis showed that the damage occurred in an area where two bones join. “This area is called the hyoid arch and is between the lower jaw and the gills,” he explains. “The arch is involved in creating the pumping action that keeps water flowing over the gills and the strong suction used for predatory feeding. Infection from the injury apparently penetrated the bone and consumed it. At some point blood loss would have been extensive. While we don’t know for certain that the initial injury was due to being hooked, that seems to be the most likely explanation.”
    Presently Gluesenkamp and Jessica Rosales, Ichthyology Collection Manager for the Texas Natural History Collections, are working to prepare Splash’s skeleton for display at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
    Following hand removal of as much flesh as possible from the bones, the skeleton was placed in plastic tubs with larvae from dermestid beetles. These flesh-eating insects, which are also found on the floor of bat caves, are the most effective way of removing all the flesh from a skeleton. “Splash probably has 5,000 to 10,000 beetles on her right now,” Gluesenkamp says. “We’ve never worked on a fish this large. We had to delay the start of work until we built up our beetle colony to be sure we had enough to do the job.”
    Once Gluesenkamp and the beetles finish their work, Rosales will rearticulate the skeleton—put it back together with hot glue, posed in a lifelike position. “It takes time, patience and modeling clay in addition to lots of hot glue,” he says. “I estimate it may take a week of painstaking work to put the skeleton back together.”
    “Splash had such an impact on TFFC,” says Allen Forshage, director of the East Texas facility. “Her first year here she increased our visitation by 43 percent. She was an amazing fish to look at. She would look at you eye-to-eye from her home in the dive tank. Her death saddened everyone here at the center, plus we had inquiries from around the country about her death. The findings about the hooking injury helped us understand why she died so quickly after we moved her in December 2005 because of repair work on the dive tank. We are going to add a new display which will have her replica (done by Lake Fork Taxidermy) and a really unusual display of her skeleton, thanks to the work now being done at the Texas Natural Science Center.”
    Gluesenkamp says working on Splash has been the highlight of his career. “I have to say it’s been really exciting. I saw photos of that fish in the arms of the man who caught her, and to be involved with that fish two years later is a joy. I am really thankful to be able to work on a fish with celebrity status. Splash: Everyone knows her name.”

    Web found article
  2. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    That was A GREAT Post Daemon thank You ever so Much. It was sad that splash diden't live longer and died from the injuries of being cought! sorta makes one wish She had gotten away dosen't it? reps to You my FRIEND and stay safe OK. Your BOC J.D.

  3. whiteriverbigcats

    whiteriverbigcats New Member

    Yeah that was a good post.... Maybe Splash still serves a purpose. When all is said and done we might learn something new from it all
  4. CoonX

    CoonX Member

    Oklahoma City O
    I thought it because of too much Crisco. :roll_eyes:

  5. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Yuma, Arizona

    :roll_eyes: :big_smile: I knew that was coming sooner or later! :lol:
  6. catfisher43

    catfisher43 New Member

    Thanks for the post Dameon.great article.
  7. Stumpknocker2

    Stumpknocker2 New Member

    NW FL
    Awsome post Thanks and reps to ya.
  8. FlatheadMan

    FlatheadMan New Member

    That was a great post bro.Some more reps for ya