Photo Credit: Rita Mehta, University of California at Davis
Is this an alien? Or did a tiny snake swallow a paperclip? Wait, maybe this is a dinosaur who died choking on a bone! Give it your best guess, then scroll down for the answer.
Don’t peek at the answer until you’ve given this a good try! Then, scroll down a bit and the truth will be revealed to you.
This is an x-ray of a moray eel. That strange shape in its throat is a second set of jaws! Those super pointy teeth just aren’t enough. An eel doesn’t have any hands to help push slippery fish down its throat. Instead, those jaws jump up into the eel’s mouth and grab onto the prey, pulling it down into the throat. Read the “Jumping Jaws” Science Scoop here, then go to this page for more information, pictures, and even a video of a moray eel swallowing some squid.