It’s not the terrifying creature from the movie “Alien,” but close! This odd mysterious toothy catfish, named Kryptoglanis shajii, only measures 4 inches (10 centimeters) long. It, however, baffles scientists who are unable to classify it.
This weird fish is endemic – only found there – to the Western Ghats mountain range in Kerala, India, lives underground, and sometimes emerge in the springs, wells and flooded rice paddies of the region.
It was only categorized as a new species in 2011. This new study published in the 2014 issue of the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia presents a deeper understanding of this unknown species of catfish.
The abstract of the article enounces its differences to the other catfish as:
Striking examples are its greatly shortened mesethmoid with overlapping frontals; non-tubular nasal bone; absence of the infraorbital lateralis sensory canal and canal bones but with an apparent antorbital bone; the flat and expansive orbitosphenoid; the vaulted supraoccipital-Weberian neural arch joint; the fenestrated occipital wall; the upwardly flexed occipito-vertebral joint; three pairs of elongated accessory processes off the compound Weberian vertebra; a unique exoccipital process for attachment of the transscapular ligament; hyomandibular-sphenotic ball and socket articulation; a serially notched anterior ceratohyal; and a novel posttemporo-supracleithum joint with the fourth transverse process.
Terms employed are not important here. Just keep in mind that there exist a bunch of differences betwwen this fish and the other catfish species.
Read more about this fish at Live Science.