The Pacific and Indian oceans are dangerous places, so the stonefish is always ready for a fight. It’s even packing a switchblade … in its face.
W. Leo Smith was dissecting a stonefish that was once his own pet, when discovered a switchblade-like device in the cheeks of the fish. Fifteen years later, he and his colleagues at The University of Kansas published the research paper that explained the mechanism behind the "lachrymal saber" of stonefish.
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To help the stonefishes deploy the switchblade, an unusually large number of muscles and ligaments attach to bones comprising the lachrymal saber system compared with species outside the stonefish family, according to the researchers.
“There can’t be any other reason for those muscles and ligaments except to control this mechanism,” said the KU researcher.
Read the rest of the story over at KU News (Image: William Leo Smith/The University of Kansas)