A unique fish with a body shaped like a football and teeth as sharp as glass washed ashore on a California beach yesterday.
The black coloured species with its huge mouth laid on the beach of Crystal Cove State Park’s Marine Protected Area in Laguna Beach. A tourist shared pictures of the fish on social media and recognized it as being most likely the Pacific Football Fish.
“To see an entire angler fish is very rare, and it is unknown why or how the fish ended up on the shore,” reads the social media post.
According to California State Parks, the Pacific Football Fish is one of 200 species of anglerfish globally and is generally found in the dark depths of the ocean. The fish’s teeth are pointy and sharp like shards of glass, and their big mouth has the ability to swallow prey the size of their own body.”
Because of the fish’s size and the obtrusive stalk on the top of the head, California State Parks identified this as a female.
“Only females have a long stalk on the head with luminescent tips used as a tempting to entice prey in the waters as deep as 3,000 feet,” reads the Crystal Cove Park post.
They included that males can grow to lengths of 25 inches while females only grow to be about 23 inches. The only purpose of the male fish is to help a female reproduce, according to the post.
The remains of the fish are being held by the California Department of Wildlife & Fish, accordion to USA Today. It is expected to be studied for educational and research purposes.
“Seeing this fascinating and strange fish is evidence of the diversity of marine life skulking below the water’s surface,” according to the California State Park post.