Deep-Sea Cannibalistic Fish Washes Up On La Jolla Shores

Another deep-sea creature has washed up on a Southern California beach, according to KNSD on Friday (December 3). Reporters say a four-foot-long live Lancetfish fish beached itself Tuesday (November 30) on La Jolla Shores. Unfortunately, it didn't survive, according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO).

The curious creature's location actually wasn't too far from the institution. Ben Frable, SIO's Marine Vertebrate Collection Manager, says the Lancetfish may have gotten lost chasing prey or running from a predator.

Researchers say Lancetfish are not as rare as the Pacific footballfish that washed up last week, but there's still a lot of mystery surrounding this species

For example, Lancetfish are also cannibals, according to Dr. Elan Portner, a post-doctoral fellow at SIO's Choy Lab. After studying the contents of these creatures' stomachs, they reportedly found the remains of other Lancetfish. So far, they don't know why these species enjoy snacking on each other.

Another interesting feature about Lancetfish is that they're hermaphroditic, meaning they have both male and female productive organs. Portner says they're still figuring out whether they can reproduce by themselves or that they need one or multiple partners.

The last time a Lancetfish was discovered or turned into the SIO was in 1996 in Oceanside, Frable says.

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