Friday, 16 June 2017

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

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | June 14, 2017 06:50am ET 

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 on June 4, according to a blog post on the Australian Marine Biodiversity Hub.

"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. 

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.

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