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Salam Aidil Fitri al Mubarak 2011... Slideshow: Azierahman’s trip to Chengkau (near Seremban), Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia was created by TripAdvisor. See another Seremban slideshow. Create a free slideshow with music from your travel photos.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Top 10 Monster Fish

The fangtooth is a bit like the Quasimodo of the sea -- it's ugly as hell, but really a harmless monster. The largest of the species only grow to be about six inches long, so they pose no real threat to humans. What's unique about the fangtooth is its teeth -- it has a smile that rivals Amy Winehouse -- which are the largest in the ocean when measured in proportion to the wearer’s body size. The fangtooth has pockets on either side of its brain solely to accommodate its disproportionately large bottom fangs -- it's the only way it's able to close its mouth. It's evolution at its most bizarre.

9. Giant freshwater stingray

Imagine a fish the size of a bear . The giant freshwater stingray can weigh more than half a ton and stretch nearly eight feet across and 16 feet long. The exact number left in the Mekong is unknown, but many believe that the giant stingray populatio
n is dwindling due to the degradation of their habitat. Last February, a scientist caught one using a rod and reel. In the end, it took 90 minutes and 13 men to drag the creature to shore for study. The ray was seven feet wide and weighed an estimated 580 pounds, and despite its size advantage, it didn't manage to puncture, poison or sever an artery of a single man trying to pull it ashore. These rays better grow a pair if they want to survive a few more million years.

8. Stonefish

The stonefish gets its name from its ability to camouflage itself as a rock. It's primarily a saltwater fish, but some species do live in rivers. The stonefish is an am
bush hunter; hiding among coral and rocks it waits for potential food to swim in its path. It can devour prey in 0.015 seconds. The stonefish is a highly venomous creature that carries a neurotoxin that can be fatal to humans. It's this toxin and its ability to look like a rock that make the stonefish such a dangerous monster fish.

7. Snakehead

The snakehead fish made big news a few years ago when some were discovered in a North Carolina lake. Such a fuss was made because these guys are voracious carnivores that could devastate an alien ecosystem in much the same way the Nile perch has done in Africa. Two to three feet long with the face of a snake, these guys are highly aggressive; if they’re put in an aquarium, they will swim into the glass with full force, ofte
n tipping the tank over or simply shattering the glass. Most frightening is the fact that they are capable of walking on land for short distances (cue ominous music).

6. Mekong giant catfish

Can a fish be cuddly? If they can, certainly the Mekong giant cat
fish would be the cuddliest. The largest freshwater fish caught on record is one of these bad boys, at nine feet long and weighing 646 pounds. They're not monsters, but huge toothless herbivores. However, the giant catfish is endangered to overfishing in the Mekong River.

5. Piraiba

Add yet another catfish to the list. While not as big as the Mekong giant catfish, the piraiba does hold top spot as the largest fish in the Amazon River. The reason it edges out the Mekong giant on our list is because of the crazy stuff found in their bellies. A piraiba's mouth can extend 16 inches across making just about anything a potential meal. Fisherm
an lucky enough to catch one of them (which requires them to literally wrestle the fish to the shore) have found monkeys, other catfish and, according to legend, even humans inside these Goliaths.

4. Alligator Gar

The Alligator Gar is named for the two rows of alligator-like teeth it has along its long snout. These ugly mothers are aggressive ambush hunters that feed on waterfowl, small fish and turtles. They can stretch up to 10 feet long and tip the scale at 300 pounds. The Alligator Gar may look threatening, but they're not known to attack humans. Though not yet endangered, their numbers are dwindling as their natural spawning ha
bitats are being altered or destroyed by dams and dikes.

3. Candiru

Toothpick fish, vampire fish, penis fish -- the candiru is known by a lot of strange names. It's not a huge fish with giant fangs, but it's by far the scariest one on our list. The candiru is a parasitic catfish that lives in the Amazon River. This tiny, translucent creature feeds on the blood of larger fish -- it tracks its hosts through the trail of urea and ammonia that secrete from the larger fish's gills. There are horror stories of the candiru swimming up men's urethras as they pee in the water. Inside, the fish latches on with its barbs and feeds. One m
ethod for candiru extraction is penile amputation, so we suggest you not be so cavalier about where you urinate in the future.

2. Anglerfish

Besides being one of the ugliest creatures in the water, anglerfish have two very interesting characteristics. The first is the glowing lure jutting out from the heads of all female anglerfish, which it uses to attract prey in the pitch black depths of the ocean. Anglerfish are capable of swallowing something up to twice their own size. The second interesting characteristic concerns the lifespan of male anglers. Early in his life, a male anglerfish will latch onto a female with his teeth and never let go. Eventually he will fuse to the female's body, sharing her blood, while losing his eyes and all his internal organs except his testes. A fem
ale anglerfish will carry up to six males on her body. Talk about a sausage feet.

1. The Nile perch

Topping out at more than six feet long and 440 pounds, the Nile perc
h is big fish, but it's not its size that makes it a monster. This species is responsible for the "greatest vertebrate mass extinction in recorded history." Introduced into Africa's Lake Victoria in the 1950s, the Nile perch has since eaten 200 native species of cichlids to extinction, devastating the local ecosystem. Cichlids used to account for 80% of the fish biomass in the lake. By the 1980s, they represented only 1%, while the perch made up 80%. The Nile perch have consumed so much of Lake Victoria's fish population that they've turned to cannibalism to survive. Is it going too far to say the Nile perch is the Stalin of the fish world?



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