(Guest post by Solon Kelleher from thedodo.com)
In May, waters around Dallas rose above normal levels. The Trinity River, which runs through the city, had retained so much rainfall that its depth more than doubled to 40 feet by the end of the month. Among the destroyed homes and human lives lost, wildlife were also affected by the rising waters.
Andrés Ruzo, a geoscientist and National Geographic explorer, captured this image of a recently deceased fish who'd gotten carried away by the floodwater — and, sadly, lodged in a fence.
Andrés Ruzo/National Geographic
The fish is part of a 100,000-year-old species. And even though he has a bit of a monstrous appearance, he's of course not a river monster at all. He's a juvenile longnose gar, a freshwater fish with a sizable population of over 100,000 adults in North America. Though other subspecies of gar can reach up to 10 feet long, this particular fish is 2 feet, which is about the subspecies's average size.
In his post on National Geographic's website, the photographer noted that, "Living fossils like the gar are a reminder that our buildings and byways are a very recent arrival to this ancient landscape."
The gar fittingly earned his name from the Anglo-Saxon word for "spear". However, the species far predates any Anglo-Saxon language. These creatures have swam on Earth for the past 100,000 years without any significant evolutionary changes.