General, Research, Technology

If you eat this fish alive, it will tear your stomach to pieces

In fresh rivers and ponds of the European partRussia can meet unusual creatures with a long body and fins. At first you might think that some kind of snake swims in the water, but in reality it is a river eel. This is a special kind of fish, the body length of which can be 80 centimeters, and the mass can reach 4 kilograms. They are not dangerous to humans and mainly feed on insect larvae, frogs and small fish. But in the Australian ponds live the representatives of the family of pointed eels (Ophichthidae), which can come to life inside the stomach of their enemy and tear it to pieces. Sounds creepy, right?

Meet the Eagle-Tailed Eel (Ophichthidae)

Animals of Australia

That such a desperate and dangerous creaturelives in Australia, there is nothing surprising. This continent is literally teeming with scary creatures - which is only worth 5-centimeter funnel spiders (Atrax robustus), from the bite of which the human body experiences unthinkable pain. Acne-tailed eels can also cause pain, because they suddenly revive inside an alien organism, they begin to look for a way out and tear the stomach apart, causing internal bleeding.

Attention: The photos below can be unpleasant or even shocking. If anything, I warned you!

Acne has a long and thin bodywithout scales. They don’t have a caudal fin, therefore instead of them they simply have a pointed, firm end of the body - hence the name of the animal. It is with this tool that the Australian creature inflicts internal injuries on its enemies. What else should the poor man do? He was swallowed and he was trapped. It is urgent to look for a way out.

Eared-eel inside a predatory fish

Only now get out of a difficult situation for themnever succeeds - at least scientists have not yet been able to find signs of a successful escape from the digestive system of predators. Once out of the stomach, eels collide with the solid bodies of their enemies, in which it is extremely difficult to make a hole with a sharp tail. They end up stuck in mesentery predators and rot right in their body. Not only do they tear everything to shreds there, but then they also lie and stink - what a horror!

Mesentery - part of the digestive system of humans and animals, which holds the organs of the abdominal cavity to the back wall of the abdomen. It was officially named a full-fledged body only in November 2016.

Fancy fish

The discovery was made by scientists from the Statea combination of scientific and applied research CSIRO, and the publication ScienceAlert told about it. They caught 11 species of predatory fish from various reservoirs in Australia. Stuck sharp-eared eels were found in the bodies of seven captured predators. This was the first such study of its kind and the results very surprised scientists. At first they assumed that they had found parasites inside the fish, but only then they realized that they were stuck eels.

Leptocephalus - blackhead larvae

As a rule, pointed eels live inunderwater burrows whose walls are reinforced with mucus. This mucus in especially large quantities is secreted by their skin. Some varieties of this family of eels live on coral reefs, that is, they are on the verge of extinction. The fact is that recently the press service of the University of Hawaii at Manoa published a disappointing forecast that by 2100 there will not be a single coral reef in the world. You can read more about this in this material.

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In general, blackheads are amazing creatures. Now we have learned that some of them are so desperate that they are trying to choose their enemies from the stomachs. In addition to them, there are electric eels in the world that hit their enemies with a discharge of electric current. In 2016, my colleague Sergey Gray wrote that this property of blackheads inspired scientists to create a completely new battery that can be used in the manufacture of wearable electronics and “clothes of the future”.