Was This Fish the Inspiration for Alien?

By Brett Israel | November 10, 2009 12:51 pm

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.

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Video: YouTube / Wainwrightlab

MORE ABOUT: animals, fish
  • Jumblepudding

    that’s just elegant. I was expecting a second set of jaws coming out like those of a moray eel when I read the alien comparisons. I love how you can barely see the “seams” when the animal is in “normal fish” mode. Its prey is actually six inches closer to danger than it thinks it is.

  • abby bogin

    hey fellahs. you are making it increasingly difficult to enjoy a fish dinner.

  • http://www.ashwooduniversity.net/ashwood/online-degrees/life-experience-degrees.asp Online Life Experience Degree

    Unlike most bony fishes, its lower jaw is not firmly attached to its skull, allowing the entire mouth to shoot outward. 

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