Thursday, September 6, 2007

Yes, "a moray" sounds like "amore". We get it.

You've probably already heard about the Alien-esque "hidden jaw" of the moray eel. I just wanted to add that PZ has a nice post about that, which includes a diagram, an X-ray, and a movie of the jaw in action. However, he also intimates that this adaptation is unique to the moray eel, which--as several commenters and news articles have pointed out already--is false. Several fish also have such a mechanism.

And the awesomeness of the moray does not end there. From Ichthyic, commenting in PZ's post:
when faced with a prey item that is simply too large to swallow whole, they will tie themselves in a knot, run the knot up their bodies until it reaches their head, and rip off a big hunk of whatever they have their teeth sunk into as they pull their head through the knot.

[Edit] And later, Ichthyic came back with a video of an eel doing just this.

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