Beware Houndfish: They Stab People
Miami kayaker remains hospitalized
By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2010 4:02 PM CDT
A drawing of a Tylosurus crocodilus, or Hound Fish.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Victims like Karri Larson are rare, but they are out there: kayakers and hikers speared in shallow waters by a leaping houndfish, the Miami Herald reports. The needlefish is 4 feet long and, true to its name, possesses a long, pointed snout. It also has the ability to jump out of the water, in order to avoid predators—or, in some cases, engage them. In Larson's case, experts think the needlefish felt threatened by her kayak paddles, leaped out of the water, and stabbed her through the back.

She suffered a collapsed lung and remains in stable but serious condition at a nearby hospital. "That long snout would be a reasonably good weapon, like an arrow, if it jumped out of the water,'' says a shark expert at the University of Florida. "They live on the surface. A lot of critters like to eat them, like sharks, barracudas or mackerel. They are a reasonable snack, so part of their escape strategy is to get out of the water."

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Riffran
Oct 20, 2010 12:30 AM CDT
ans sometimes the fish fight back..:)
JoeQ
Oct 19, 2010 8:42 PM CDT
..
finkster
Oct 19, 2010 5:00 PM CDT
"felt threatened by her kayak paddles, leaped out of the water, and stabbed her through the back." There are plenty of back stabbers on this earth besides the Houndfish