10 Most Diabolical Fish On Earth Parti 2


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On the one hand, fish are inoffensive creatures, the majority not much to worry about unless they’re getting overcooked on the barbecue. Yet there are a few species that are more loathsome to our tastes. These are creatures straight out of nightmares – some more fangs than fish; others that look like they’ve barely swum out of the primeval sludge. But though we’d like to think we’re no relation to these demons of the deep, in the evolutionary scheme of things all us land vertebrates are derived
 

1. Piranha Fish (up to 18 inches)

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While the threat this little teeth-with-gills poses to humans has been rather blown up in films – including its own self-titled horror B movie – the Piranha has a set of jaws to make any dentist nod with nervous approval. Its rows of razor-sharp gnashers are tightly packed and interlock with each other, teeth perfectly designed for the rapid piercing and shearing of meat – for which the Piranha has a rapacious appetite, as if you needed to know. The Piranha is also aggressive to its own kind and can become cannibalistic if underfed.
 
Dentist’s bad dream: Piranha Fish

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Although the Piranha hunts in a lethal, highly organised fashion, in its defence it also eats vegetable matter such as seeds. Research also suggests its habit of forming into large groups is as much a defence against predators like caimans and river dolphins as it is a killing strategy. But despite its overblown menace – with the piranha more likely to end up as part of your dinner than vice versa – you wouldn’t want to spend too long in Amazonian waters with an open cut to whet this fish’s appetite. Feeding frenzies against larger animals do happen, and this fiend will bite and maim without a second invitation.
 
Red-bellied Piranha

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2. Anglerfish (up to 2 feet)

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Fish don’t come much more monstrous looking than the deep sea Anglerfish. Lurking far below the surface of the ocean, this bony beast of a fish is so called because of its distinctive method of catching prey using a fleshy lump that protrudes from its head like a fisherman’s lure. The Anglerfish is able to cheekily wiggle its growth so it appears as prey to other predators, the bait made even more alluring by the fact that it emits bright bioluminescent light. When the unsuspecting victim stays close enough, the anglerfish devours it whole, jaws triggered automatically by contact with the decoy.
 
 Gone fishing and gulping it down: Anglerfish

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That cavernous mouth extends right around the Anglerfish’s head, its jaws armed with long, pointed, inward-folding teeth that allow easy access to the stomach but no escape from the mouth. This machine-like predator can expand its jaw and stomach to a huge size, enabling it to gulp down prey even bigger than itself. It’s probably a good thing for us that this fiend, also known as the sea devil, is found at depths of 3,300-6,600 ft. As far as we’re concerned, it can stay there.

Tiny deep-sea Anglerfish, stomach in mouth

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3. Moray Eel (up to 13 feet)

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Found all over the world skulking in reef crevices – where it waits for prey to pass by near enough for it to lunge at and seize in its powerful jaws – the Moray Eel is a fish best steered clear of. This fearsome carnivore feeds on sea-dwelling creatures, but can also inflict severe injuries on people that get too close for comfort. Apparently the Moray is more often aloof than ill tempered, and will only attack humans in self-defence or bite hands by mistake if fed. When disturbed, however, it is vicious; and the bacteria coating its sharp backward-pointing teeth can infect wounds, making for an extra beastly bite. The toxic potential doesn’t stop there either, with the mucus secreted over the skin containing a toxin in some species.


Extra dentures and nasty mouthwash: Moray Eel

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Another feature that makes the Moray unique is the second set of jaws in its throat that are also equipped with teeth. When hunting and capturing victims, this nighttime marauder launches these jaws into its mouth, snatching the struggling prey and pulling it down into the Moray’s digestive system. Ridley Scott’s Alien eat your heart out.

Green Moray, apparently blind

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4. Tigerfish (up to 6 feet)

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No prizes for guessing some of the reasons the Tigerfish got its name. With a gaping maw made up of an extremely well developed mouth with protruding teeth, this definitely isn’t the kind of fish you’d like to meet in a dark corner of the river. The Tigerfish is just as ferocious as it looks – fiercely territorial and known for being a voracious predator.

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