The Falling Fish

falling fish

The toothed Arctic Lamprey fish (Lethenteron camtschaticum) looks a bit like a monster out of a horror film. With an eel-like body and a circular sucker-like mouth adorned with keratin ‘teeth’, the Alaskan population must be pretty glad these creatures are marine. So imagine their distress on finding live specimens four times in one week in car parks and on lawns across Fairbanks, in central Alaska.

It appeared these fish had fallen from the sky as Fairbanks is a fair way from the sea, and they aren’t sold commercially in the area. Original hypotheses for their appearance included waterspouts or tornados picking up the creatures and depositing them inland. With no reports of tornados in the area; however, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game offered up another suggestion. On examination of the Lampreys, many had scars running across their body, suggesting they had been in a bird’s bill. When the Lamprey wiggled free of the bill, some of their gills would have been scraped off leaving them with V-shaped scars across their body. Seagulls often feed on Lampreys and could carry them inland away from water before dropping them. Lampreys return to freshwater to spawn (from May to July), and it’s believed that the seagulls have pulled the Lampreys out of the Chena River. Source: Facebook

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