Slender snipe eel

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Slender snipe eel
Nemichthys scolopaceus SI.jpg
Nemichthys scolopaceus X-ray.jpg
Nemichthys scolopaceus, X-ray image
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anguilliformes
Family: Nemichthyidae
Genus: Nemichthys
Species: N. scolopaceus
Binomial name
Nemichthys scolopaceus
J. Richardson, 1848

The slender snipe eel (Nemichthys scolopaceus) is a fish that can weigh only a few ounces, yet reach 5 feet or 1.5 m in length. Features include a bird-like beak with curving tips, covered with tiny hooked teeth, which they use to sweep through the water to catch shrimp and other crustaceans. It has a lifespan of ten years.

It has more vertebrae in its backbone than any other animal, around 750. However, its anus has moved forward during its evolution and is now located on its throat. Its larvae are shaped like leaves, which actually get smaller before transforming into adults.

Many specimens found in museums were spat up from larger fish that were caught in trawls.


  1. ^ Karmovskaya, E., Papaconstantinou, C., de Morais, L., Smith-Vaniz, W.F., Carpenter, K.E. & de Bruyne, G. (2015). Nemichthys scolopaceus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T190214A60794470.en

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