Slender snipe eel
The slender snipe eel, Nemichthys scolopaceus, sometimes referred to as the deep sea duck, is a fish that can weigh only a few ounces, yet reach 5 feet or 1.5 m in length. Features include a bird-like beak with curving tips, covered with tiny hooked teeth, which they use to sweep through the water to catch shrimp and other crustaceans. It has a lifespan of ten years.
It has more vertebrae in its backbone than any other animal, around 750. However, its anus has moved forward during its evolution and is now located on its throat. Its larvae are shaped like leaves, which actually get smaller before transforming into adults.
Many specimens found in museums were spat up from larger fish that were caught in trawls.
- "Nemichthys scolopaceus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=161624. Retrieved 30 January 2006.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2005). "Nemichthys scolopaceus" in FishBase. 10 2005 version.
- Monterrey bay aquarium about Slender snipe eel
- Tim Flannery and Peter Schouten, Astonishing Animals: Extraordinary Creatures and the Fantastic Worlds They Inhabit. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2004. Page 181.
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