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Prehistoric-looking fish native to Gulf of Mexico turns up in Pennsylvania pond

A prehistoric-looking first, native to the Gulf of Mexico, turned up in a Pennsylvania park.
A prehistoric-looking first, native to the Gulf of Mexico, turned up in a Pennsylvania park. Radnor Township Police Department

A rare, prehistoric-looking fish was found a long, long way from home.

An alligator gar, commonly found in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico or Mississippi River, was found in a Pennsylvania pond on March 4.

The fish was found dead, likely because it couldn’t survive the cold waters, but had many questioning how it got there in the first place.

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In photos shared by the Radnor Township Police Department, the long fish features two bills full of sharp teeth and black eyes bulging out of the side of its head.

Its front end appears alligator-like, while its rear looks more like a scaly fish.

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While it’s not known for sure how the fish ended up in a pond, the Facebook post implies that a rare pet owner may have dumped it there.

“Looking for a place to relocate your rare pet? Our parks are not the best option,” the post reads. “Give us a call and we’ll provide you with some resources that may help.”

This species of fish is, according to local station WGAL-TV, among the largest freshwater fish in North America. They can grow to three-and-a-half metres long.

They don’t attack humans but their eggs are poisonous to eat, the publication adds.

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Alligator gar are thriving in Texas, where they’re being protected by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

“Most people remember their first encounter with an alligator gar,” the organization said in a report on the animal. “In the world of fishes, their appearance is striking.

“They look like something that should be swimming around with dinosaurs, not bass and crappie.”

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meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca