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The “Alien” of the seas

The “Alien” of the seas..

Most carnivorous fish engulf prey into their mouths by opening them quickly from a closed position and thereby creating a sucking effect. But morays’ mouths are already open most of the time. Further, their visible jaws are actually quite weak given their size.

So how do they catch their prey in order to sustain themselves? Well the answer is bizarre and closer to science fiction than reality.

The Alien of the seas

Moray eels have a second set of jaws deep at the back of their throat which shoot forward at high speed, grab the prey and rapidly protract backwards again, pulling the prey down as the animals closes its mouth. This amazing ability allows the moray to reach out to grab its prey without moving far from its narrow hiding place!

“There is nothing else in the world quite like these highly mobile pharyngeal jaws!”

Source: Casper Henderson (The book of barely imaged beings)

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