AN Indonesian police officer from Manado City in North Sulawesi who was taking a stroll at a beach made the discovery of a lifetime when he chanced upon the fresh carcass of a very rare and prehistoric-looking fish.
Jeffry Nggala from the Wanea district said he he found the animal, which looked like an ancient shark, along the stretch of coastline in Minahasa.
“I found the fish in Kalasey Beach, Minahasa, on Sunday (August 7) yesterday around 9.30 pm. The fish was already dead when I found it, but it may not have been dead for long,” Kompas.com quoted Nggala as saying on Monday.
The officer said he was storing fish’s carcass in an icebox at home. He said he hoped the relevant authorities would come to examine the fish.
Nggala said he uploaded images of the fish on his Facebook account which caught the attention of many netizens due to its unique form.
“When I found it, its eyes were purple. I’m trying to find references on the internet, this may be a fairly rare fish,” he said.
The fish, which measured about 60cm, had dark brown skin. Its tail and fins appeared to be similar to a shark, but the snout and eyes are different and unique.
Edwin Ngangi, a professor at the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences, University of Sam Ratulangi, said he plans to examine the fish.
“We will be there to see and try to examine it,” said Ngangi.
Some netizens also expressed interest in researching the fish.
The waters off North Sulawesi is known to be home to “ancient” fish, such as the coelacanth or Latimeria menadoensis.
Local media said Nggala’s discovery is most likely a rarely-seen prickly dogfish (Oxynotus bruniensis), which is considered an endangered species of the dog shark family.