The Terrifying Australian Lizard Fish is a Super Predator of the Deep

Meet the Australian Lizard Fish, but hopefully from a safe distance. This monstrous, deep-water, hermaphrodite creature with the body of an eel, the face of a lizard and hundreds of razor-sharp teeth is a force to reckon with.

The Australian Lizard Fish is a cowardly predator

The scientific name for this deep sea fish is Bathysaurus ferox, which translates from the Latin to mean fierce deep-sea lizard. It is known to live some 1,000 to 2,500 meters (3,280 feet to 8,200 feet) under the sea surface, and as others of its ilk, it is benthic, which indicates it lives along the ocean floor and hides by burying itself in sediment, patiently awaiting the right moment to ambush and destroy its passing prey.

In the words of John Sparks, a curator of ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History:

“I would describe them as lie-and-wait predators. They bury themselves in the sand or mud, lie still and if something swims by, they dart out and at it. Aquariums have tried putting shallow-water lizard fish — a sister group of the deep-water lizard fish — in viewing tanks with other fish, but they eat everything in there. They don’t make good aquarium pets…. And they’re not very appetizing, either, because the meat is mushy.”

#3. Two Australian Lizard Fish

 

The Terrifying Australian Lizard Fish is a Super Predator of the Deep
Photo: Wikimedia.org

The Australian Lizard Fish has an unusually large liver

Scientists cannot venture a guess as to why this creature’s liver is so large. According to a 1985 study published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology,  it comprises 20 percent of the fish’s body weight, which is 4 times larger than livers found in other fish comparable in size. They surmise that it might serve as an energy storehouse, but it still remains a feature that is a little quirky.

The mysteries that lurk in the depths of the world’s oceans slowly come to light every day , but surely if they are as terrifying as this super predator, maybe they should stay buried for at least a little while longer.

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