A terrifying looking rare lancet fish with huge fangs recently washed up on a beach in North Carolina. Such animals usually dwell at great ocean depths and are seldom seen by humans. The unusual fish was found on May 12, after it came ashore on Nags Head Beach, which is located to the south of Jennette’s Pier. The beached animal was first observed by beachcombers who were standing on one of the piers.
Lancet fish have tremendously large mouths, and teeth that are razor-sharp. These open-water creatures can grow to over six feet in size but there is little known about the mysterious species except that they are comparable to swordfish and yellow fin tuna in numerous ways.
They are also in the waters of most of the world except for the Polar Regions. Lancet fish have been noticed as far to the north as Greenland and have been caught by tuna seeking boats stated a media report. Several individuals at Jennette’s Pier put up photographs of the fish on the pier’s Social Media page. While a few readers stated that they thought the creature was “disgusting” and wanted to know if it ate people, others were instead captivated by the unusual fish.
Biologists think that the Lancet class of fish first evolved during the Middle Miocene era, which was between 11 and 16 million years ago. These animals are the only remaining members of the species Alepisaurus, which means scaleless lizard.
There are two different variations of this fish that exist today. Alepisaurus ferox have longer faces than their cousins Alepisaurus brevrostris which possess short noses. Inside the jaw, either set has two to four fangs, in addition to their regular small teeth which are used for chewing up prey.
Lancet fish possess soggy weak muscles, which are not suited well for any type of long distance hunting. Therefore, biologists think that the class performs hunting by ambush, waiting for prey to swim by, then grabbing onto the mark by using their giant fangs. Stomach contents, which have been recovered from other lancet fish, have shown they feast on shrimp and other shellfish. They also have been known to eat one another on occasion but this is believed to be rare.
After a few photographs were taken of the unusual creature, the lancet fish was freed back into the ocean, seemingly unscathed from its experience. However after the first effort to release the animal back into the water occurred, for some reason it swam back to the shore. It was again put back in the ocean water. With it acting this way suggests the fish might have been injured or ill. Wildlife specialists believe if the animal was to be sick or hurt that was what most likely caused the fish to come ashore in the first place.
A rare lancet fish recently washed up on a beach in North Carolina. These animals usually dwell at great ocean depths and are seldom seen by humans. The unusual fish was found on May 12, after it came ashore on Nags Head Beach.
By Kimberly Ruble