“Shapeshifting vampire demon anchovy”

Published May 14, 2020

Do you need more than that head­line to pique your curios­i­ty? How about the fact that it sport­ed a sin­gle saber tooth on top and razor fangs on the bottom?

We won’t talk about the thing that’s eat­ing it.

They named it “Monosmilus chureloides” which rough­ly trans­lates to “sin­gle knife Churel,” and it’s a new­ly dis­cov­ered ancient fish (from about 45 mil­lion years ago) that lived where Pakistan is today.

Churel? Yeah, that would be a myth­i­cal “ghost of an unpu­ri­fied liv­ing thing” from south­east Asian folk­lore. But this fish was real.

[It] had 16 fang-like curved teeth on its low­er jaw that were small in the back and “pro­gres­sive­ly larg­er towards the front.” The longest fang was 0.8 inch­es (2 cm), or about 20% the length of the whole head.

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