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Prehistoric-looking alligator gar is caught in Kansas for first time

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An enormous alligator gar has been caught in Kansas for the first time in state historical past — and puzzled biologists are probing the way it obtained there in the first place, wildlife officers stated.

The 4.5-foot, 39.5-pound gar — sometimes called a “living fossil fish” as a result of its lineage dates again almost 100 million years — was pulled from the Neosho River final month by angler Danny Lee “Butch” Smith, Kansas Wildlife and Parks officials revealed this week.

It marks the first time that an alligator gar has been discovered in Kansas, the officers stated.

Alligator gar are normally solely discovered in elements of southwestern Ohio and southeastern Missouri and Illinois.

Biologists are investigating how the predatory fish ended up in Kansas.

The most definitely state of affairs is that the alligator gar was launched from an aquarium into the river after it turned too massive.

“It’s not unlikely that this fish was once somebody’s pet or purchased from a pet store, and simply released into the river once it became too large,” stated Doug Nygren, KDWP Fisheries Division director.

Officials stated it’s unlikely the gar made its personal method into the river due to the gap to the closest inhabitants, however they aren’t ruling something out simply but.

Danny Lee "Butch" Smith holding the alligator gar.
The alligator gar is sometimes called a “living fossil fish” as a result of its lineage dates again almost 100 million years.
Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks

They plan to review the gar’s fins to work out if it had been tagged and got here from one other state’s inhabitants.

“Because most populations of this species can be distinguished from one another with a sample of the fish’s fins, another option we’re considering is genetic identification,” stated KDWP assistant director of fisheries analysis Jeff Koch.

“This will tell us if the fish came from an existing population in another state.”

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