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That’s A Moray
πŸ“Έ by @monster_fish_taxidermy

A large moray eel skull

If you look past the moray’s impressive razor sharp dental armament, you can see the teeth of the pharyngeal second jaw the moray uses to hold prey in place and aids in swallowing when the main jaw chops food into smaller portions.

The pharyngeal jaw resides in the pharynx, the area of the throat behind the mouth but before the esophagus. Morays are not the only fish with these pharyngeal mandibles (cichlids also possess them) but they are the only animal where the secondary jaw is extendable – just like the xenonorph in Alien.

These jaws are believed to have originated as modified gill arches, they consist of multiple bones and at least 10 different muscle groups working in concert in order to take in and devour prey items like octopus, squid, and various shellfish.



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