The Honshu wolf or Japanese wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax) was a small species of wolf native to the Japanese islands of Kyushu, Honshu and Shikoku. Adults measured about 12 inches tall at the shoulder and 35 inches long. Various factors including rabies, deforestation, and hunting led to its extinction in 1905 (or did they?).

The animal in the black and white photograph above was shot at an agricultural station in Fukui prefecture in 1910, five years after the alleged extinction date of 1905. The carcass reportedly weighed 18.75 kg (just over 40 pounds), and those who examined it stated that it was neither a dog nor an escaped zoo animal. These records, combined with recent analysis of the photograph, suggest that the specimen in the picture is in fact a Honshu wolf [x].

Fast forward a hundred years, and sightings of this animal are still occurring in the remote mountainous regions where it once lived (hey, doesn’t this story sound familiar?) Hiroshi Yagi’s photos of an alleged Honshu wolf, taken in 1996, are tantalizing. The animal in the pictures certainly appears to have the right build and fur coloration. It even has a short, rounded tail! Of course, without proper genetic testing it’s impossible to determine whether this is an actual Honshu wolf or a domestic doppelganger.

What do you think?


Honshu Pipefish (Doryrhamphus japonicus)

…a species of “flagtail pipefish” that is is distributed throughout the Western Pacific, ranging from Japan to Indonesia. D. japonicus typically inhabits small caves in rocky reefs, and is sometimes known to share said caves with other fish and crabs. They are also known to associate with sponges and urchins of the genus Diadema. Like most pipefish male Honshu pipefish will carry the eggs in a special brood pouch which is located under its tail. The eggs usually spawn from the end of May to September.


Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Sygnathiformes-Sygnathidae-Doryrhamphus-D. japonicus

Images: Izuzuki and Zubi 05

BEST OF THE MARINE CORPS - May 2006 - Defense Visual Information Center by expertinfantry on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines with 81mm Mortar Platoon, 2nd Battalion (BN), 4th Marine Regiment (MAR REGT), attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), fire an 81mm M252 mortar tube during a live fire training exercise