A rare, cannibalistic lancet fish washed up onto Nags Head beach in North Carolina last Monday.
Visitors at the Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head witnessed the fish wash up onto the shore alive. Fishers took it back out into the water in their boat, only for it to wash up on shore again.
The fish was probably sick, according to researchers.
The lancetfish is a deep-sea fish that rarely ever appears near beaches. Also, it is normally only active at night, not during day.
Related to yellowfin tuna and swordfish, the only time the lancet fish is usually spotted is when deep sea tuna fishermen accidentally catch one.
A lancetfish, known for its exceptionally wide mouth and razor-sharp teeth and can grow up to 6.6 feet in length. Although the rare fish can be found in almost any ocean, little is still known about their biology.
Lancetfish are hard to find. There are not many of them, even in the open ocean.
Because it’s an uncommon fish that inhabits the open ocean, little is known about its life cycle. In adolescence, lancetfish are hermaphrodites (having both male and female sex organs), though there’s no evidence of adult hermaphrodites
The deep-sea fish that is known for its huge jaws, lengthy teeth, prominent dorsal fin (which runs almost the entire length of their back) is also known to eat its own kind.
When the lancet fish isn’t eating one of his own species, it ambushes crabs or squid.
Lancetfish are preyed upon by seals, sharks and other large fish, including tuna. They’re not considered a good fish for human consumption, because their muscles contain large amounts of water, making their flesh mushy. Fishermen consider the lancetfish a “trash” fish that sometimes gets turned into bait for catches such as tuna.
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