A nine-year-old girl in southern China sustained wounds after a violent encounter with a hungry freshwater monster of a fish.
The incident occurred while the girl was feeding fish in an ornamental pond in her residential community in Nanning, Guangxi region on Sept. 8.
A picture of the girl’s wounded hand has circulated on Chinese social media.
Following the incident, community officials launched a search for the culprit, according to East Day.
After 40 hours, they found the mysterious creature responsible for biting the girl: a one-meter, 10-kilogram fish native to North America.
It turns out that the creature is an alligator gar, a predatory fish that can live in fresh, brackish, or salt water.
Known as “living fossils,” alligator gars have retained certain morphological characteristics of their earliest ancestors, including a spiral valve intestine and the ability to breathe in both air and water.
The fish is distinguished by its torpedo-shaped body, ganoid scales — nearly impenetrable, bone-like scales — and sets of large, sharp teeth that impale and hold prey.
After the gar’s discovery, residents began to realize why smaller fishes appeared to decrease over time.
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