While on her regular walk on the Texas City beach, Preeti Desai stumbled upon an odd creature that she wasn’t able to identify. The creature she thought normally wouldn’t swim deep in the sea. She challenged aquatic biology enthusiasts to identify on her twitter verse “Okay, biology twitter, what the heck is this? Found on a beach in Texas City, TX”.
Professor of Aquatic Biology at the University of Washington and the School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, Adam Summers, replied that the creature was identifiable due to the “remnant of skin coloration, the body and the head shape, the teeth and the shape of the jaw they are in”. Though the eyes weren’t visible but Summers thought they had decayed due to desiccation so they weren’t observable.
According to Summers, Ben Frable, at the University of California, San Diego Scripps Institution Of Oceanography had recognized the creature as fangtooth snake-eel. Summers tweeted “Frable has I Ded this thing, it is an Ophichthid eel called a tusky eel (Aplatophischauliodus).” However, biologist and eel specialist Dr. Kenneth Tighe thought that most likely it was the fangtooth snake-eel, but it could also garden or conger eel. All these three types are found off the coast of Texas and have large fang- like teeth.
Though Frable wasn’t sure if the Hurricane Harvey that hit Texas on august 25 was to blame for bringing the eel to the beach, as according to him these sometimes do come in shallow waters. Normally this fish is found 30 to 90 meters deep in the western Atlantic Ocean. They feed on smaller fish and crustaceans and can reach up to 33 inches in length.