The specimen, which had two large teeth at the front of its mouth, an elongated and silvered body, and a large dorsal fin, was identified as a cannibal lancelet fish
Photo: THE WEST MARIN FEED/FACEBOOK)
A hiker was amazed to find a strange fish he’d never seen before – and it had huge teeth and a reflective body.
The fish has two Dracula-like fangs protruding from the front of its mouth, alongside a large dorsal fin, elongated body, and huge eyes.
It was spotted by someone walking on a California beach and posted on a local news feed called The West Marin Feed Daily Star Reports.
The creature was about four feet long and was believed to be alive when the walker spotted it before attempting to set it back in the surf.
THE WEST MARIN FEED/FACEBOOK)
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The editor of The West Marin Feed, Christian Anthony, told Newsweek: “The fish was still alive when the sandpiper found it. He put him back in the shorebreak to try to revive him.”
Christian later posted pictures of the fish online to see if anyone could help identify it.
After just ten minutes, Christian heard from Christopher Martin, curator of ichthyology at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, who identified the creature as a lancelet fish.
Long-snouted lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox) are large predatory fish that can grow up to two meters long.
They live in oceans all over the world except for polar seas at depths between 350 and 6,500 feet
Lancetfish hunt primarily in the Twilight Zone, an area of water that receives little sunlight, even in clear tropical water.
In this very dim light, reflective scales can help some creatures blend into the darkness around them, as they appear the same hue as their surroundings.
Predators at this depth also sometimes hunt by peering up and spotting their prey silhouetted against the shimmer of light from the surface.
Although very scary, many smaller creatures hide in these depths during the day, migrating to the surface each night to feed before retiring to the depths at dawn.
Lancetfish are active predators, and the unusual configuration of their stomachs means their meals are often left intact, allowing scientists to see what they ate.
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Disturbingly, this often includes other lancelet fish, earning them the nickname cannibal fish.
Because they live in the Twilight Zone, lancetfish must eat whatever meals come their way, even if they are smaller lancetfish.
The fangs indicate that the fish are actively hunting, impaling their prey on their fangs.
Another Twilight Zone hunter, the Fangtooth, actually has the largest known teeth in the ocean relative to its body size and can’t even close its jaws.
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/walker-finds-strange-dracula-fish-26730833 Walker finds a strange "Dracula" fish with huge teeth and a reflective body