A huge toothy fish once lived in the waters of the Arctic


A large predatory fish with a terrifying mouth lived in ancient times in the waters of North America, is believed to archaeologists who have completed the analysis of fossil terrible sea beast.

Lopastoperaya fish, now referred to as Laccognathus embryi, probably reached a size of 5 or 6 feet in length (1.5-1.8 m) and had a wide head with small eyes and strong jaws studded with big sharp teeth. Fish-beast was probably an inhabitant of the biggest depths where, lying on the sea bed, she calmly waited a moment to pounce on a passing prey.

"I would not want to swim or enter the water reservoir, which would lurks an animal" - said study researcher Edward Deschler (Edward Daeschler), Head of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

Lopastoperye fish probably hunted shellfish and lungfish, according to lead author Dzheyzon Downs (Jason Downs), also from the Academy of Natural Sciences of the agency LiveScience. "Laccognathus embryi with their powerful jaws and long, sharp teeth was, of course, the carnivorous animals, which appear to be fueled by other vertebrates that lived in the same rivers or other water flows".

The team found the fossil fish aged 375 million years on Ellesmere Island in the remote Nunavut Polar Canada, where in ancient times, as scientists assume, is still dominated by a subtropical climate. Previously, the researchers found the same spot fossil Tiktaalik roseae, transitional animal that was thought to be "missing link" in the chain of transformation of fish in the most primitive animals with limbs. This leads scientists to believe that these animals lived side by side.

"Both animals were predators, so it is possible that they were competing with each other for the victim" - said Downs. "It is also possible that they lived in different depths or even used different strategies in the diet, which allowed them to determine for themselves the unique types of food in these environments."

Despite the fact that the research team discovered the first fossil L. embryi about 10 years ago, they have only recently described species in the current issue of the "Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology", after a few seasons, the collection and analysis of additional samples from this area. "This study is the culmination of a long and difficult work in the field of paleontology, conducted in the laboratory and research resources in the office" - concluded Downs.

Original: LiveScience Translation: M. Potter

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