This is the terrifying fish with the head of an alligator which has been discovered in a reservoir in Cyprus.
The fish, an alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), was found dead on the banks of a reservoir at the Kioneli dam in northern Cyprus and has been compared to a beast from Jurassic Park on social media.
The fish measured 1.12 metres (3.7 feet) in length and weighed around 10 kilogrammes (22 lbs).
Dervish Cavusoglou from the Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute said the fish would have taken around 10 years to reach this size, with experts believing it had been released into the reservoir by its owner. The institute has taken the fish for further examination.
The alligator gar is one of the largest freshwater fish in North America, with its habitat mainly in the southern United States and some areas of northern Mexico.
The fish can reportedly grow up to 8.5 feet (2.5 metres) in length.
A local pet shop owner told reporters that alligator gars are bought and sold all over the island, with nothing illegal about their sale.
The owner, who was not named, said the fish were generally bought when “they are about the size of a pencil,” with them rarely growing to the size of the one in the reservoir as their growth is regulated by temperatures.
Taskent Nature Park in northern Cyprus lamented the situation, telling the Cyprus Mail: “Pet trade on the whole island is really in a dire situation where animals are traded without any regard to their well-being and concern for their lifetime needs.
“They can grow very fast.”
Alligator gars mainly eat fish but have also been known to eat birds and small mammals at the water’s surface.
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