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Friday, 16 June 2017

This Terrifying, Toothy 'Monster' Is the World's Deepest Living Predator

In the inky darkness of the ocean's abyss
swims the world's deepest living
superpredator: a fish with a long, eel-like
body; the face of a lizard; and a mouth full of sharp teeth.

Scientists aboard a research vessel
unexpectedly found the so-called lizard fish
while trawling (dragging a net underwater) off the coast of eastern Australia
"This terrifying terror of the deep is largely
made up of a mouth and hinged teeth, so
once it has you in its jaws, there is no
escape: The more you struggle, the farther
into its mouth you go," Asher Flatt, the
vessel's onboard communicator, wrote in the
blog post. [ Photos: The Freakiest-
Looking Fish ]
This terrifying creature's scientific name is
Bathysaurus ferox, which means "fierce deep-
sea lizard," and its common name comes
from its lizard-like face. It lives 3,280 feet to
8,200 feet (1,000 to 2,500 meters) under the
water's surface. Like other lizard fish, B.
ferox is benthic, meaning it lives along the
ocean floor, where it often buries itself in
sediment, hiding until it can ambush prey.
"I would describe them as lie-and-wait
predators," said John Sparks, a curator of
ichthyology at the American Museum of
Natural History in New York City who was
not involved in the recent expedition. "They
bury themselves in the sand or mud , lie still
and if something swims by, they dart out and eat it."

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