Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dracula Fish

Researchers have discovered a species they named Danionella dracula for its bony "fangs." The Dracula fish has only been found in one Burmese stream. Scientists believe the fish lost their teeth through evolutionary process, which left the bony protrusions that have a fang-like appearance.

In captivity, the males have been observed "sparring" with their fangs, but no blood appears to be drawn. They nudge one another after opening their jaws "incredibly widely," but it appears to be more a symbolic mating ritual than actual combat. Only the males bear these tell-tale fangs.

The fish do not have actual teeth - even the males' fangs are not teeth - rather, the jawbone has developed sharp protrusions which mimic the appearance of teeth.

Since scientists did not recognize the fish as a new species immediately, they note there could be more swimming around in other bodies even now.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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