Deep-sea cannibal fish surprises scientists with its arrival on shores
Its arrival off the coast of Oregon and other areas of the U.S. from the deep sea has baffled scientists. It is the lancetfishalso popularly called cannibal fish (due to its high level of cannibalism), a species that inhabits the seafloor of tropical and subtropical waters, and is characterized by its open jaws with fangshuge eyes, a sail-shaped fin and a long, slippery body.
As reported by local authorities such as Oregon State Parks, a state agency dedicated to the conservation and care of natural parks, several specimens of lancetfish have washed ashore on Oregon beaches in recent weeks. “No one knows for sure why they’re washing ashore“, they indicate in a post on their Facebook profile.
In the same publication they show one of these specimens stranded in the sand, still alive. “He was helped back into the ocean and swam away,” they add.
Its presence in coastal areas is something very uncommon and has been quite a surprise for the researchers, who see in it an opportunity to learn more about this little known species.
As explained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the lancetfish is one of the largest deep-sea fish, as they can. up to two meters long. They are hermaphrodites, so they possess both male and female sexual organs, but little else is known about their reproduction and development.
As far as food is concerned, analysis of the stomachs of these fish suggests that they feed on whatever they can whenever they find food and then digest it when they need it. In addition to resorting to cannibalismThey also feed voraciously on many other fish and invertebrates, such as squid or octopus.
Daniel J. Kamikawa, a NOAA biologist, argues that the occurrence of this species on the U.S. coast does not occur on a regular basis, and that the most likely cause of its presence is because of some type of diseasethe drag of the storms or due to the phenomenon known as temperature shockhe assures in declarations reported by El Imparcial.