Planet Earth

Was This Fish the Inspiration for Alien?

DiscoblogBy Brett IsraelNov 10, 2009 5:51 PM

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See that fish in the video below-- that's a slingjaw wrasse. Looks kind of boring, right? Well as you've probably guessed from the headline (or from the name slingjaw), it's not. Just watch the video. Via the Telegraph:

Its mouth shoots out like that of the monster in the Ridley Scott film Alien, slinging forward up to half the fish’s body length and engulfing the victim in moments. The odd beast, found in shallow reef and lagoon waters, feeds mainly on small fish, shrimp and crabs.

The secret of the slingjaw wrasse's remarkable mouth projection: Unlike most bony fishes, its lower jaw is not firmly attached to its skull, allowing the entire mouth to shoot outward. The foot-long fish isn't really a threat to humans, but you might want to watch your fingers just in case. Related Content: Gallery: Zombie Animals and the Parasite That Control Them Gallery: Cannibalism: The Animal Kingdom’s Dirty Little Secret Discoblog: See It to Believe It: Animals Vomit, Spurt Blood to Thwart Predators

Video: YouTube / Wainwrightlab

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