Tags: Hurricane Harvey | sea creature | washes up | hurricane | harvey

Sea Creature Washes Up After Harvey

Image: Sea Creature Washes Up After Harvey

(Screengrab of Twitter post@preetalina)

By    |   Saturday, 16 Sep 2017 11:55 AM

A mysterious sea creature washed up on a Texas beach following Hurricane Harvey, leaving researchers scratching their heads over what it could be.

Preeti Desai, of the National Audobon Society, found the eyeless animal on a beach in Texas City, between Houston and Galveston, the Daily Mail reported. She posted an image on social media last week in hopes fellow biologists could help identify it.

The creature had a large, cylinder-built body like an eel with razor-sharp teeth in its mouth, according to the Daily Mail.

"It was completely unexpected," Desai told the BBC News of the find. "It's not something that you'd typically see on a beach. I thought it could be something from the deep sea that might have washed on to shore."

The BBC News said fanged snake-eels, also known as a "tusky" eels, are commonly in waters between 100 and 300 feet deep in the western Atlantic Ocean.

Kenneth Tighe, of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, told the Daily Mail that he thinks the creature could be, perhaps, in the garden or conger eels group. He added that the creature's large teeth ruled out most species in those two families.

"It might be Bathyuroconger vicinus or Xenomystax congroides," Tighe told the Daily Mail. "All three of these species occur off Texas and have large fang-like teeth. Too bad you can't clearly see the tip of the tail. That would differentiate between the ophichthid and the congrids."

The EarthTouch News Network reported that rough winds and strong currents created by Hurricane Harvey could have played a part in washing the creature ashore. The website said that fangtooth snake-eels have small eyes to begin with and could have been the first to go on the beached creature through decomposition.

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A mysterious sea creature washed up on a Texas beach following Hurricane Harvey, leaving researchers scratching their heads over what it could be.
sea creature, washes up, hurricane, harvey
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2017-55-16
Saturday, 16 Sep 2017 11:55 AM
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