March 05, 2020
One of the largest freshwater fish species in North America made a rare appearance this week at Fenimore Park in Delaware County.
The Radnor Township Police Department tweeted a jarring photo Wednesday of an alligator gar fish that was found dead at the park.
RARE FISH LOCATED IN RADNOR POND:— RadnorPD (@RadnorPD) March 4, 2020
Radnor Township Animal Control was notified of a rare discovery in the pond at Fenimore Park this week. The Alligator Gar fish, commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico, was located by a township resident deceased. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/qjP7zOPEnY
According to the PA @fishandboat Commission, the fish could not sustain in such cold water. The rare find was turned over to them for preservation and educational purposes. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/FnDywUvTra— RadnorPD (@RadnorPD) March 4, 2020
Despite their fearsome appearance, alligator gar don't pose any threat to humans. While they are considered ambush predators, they primarily feast on other fish and will sometimes attack small mammals and fowl.
Incredibly, the fossil record traces morphologically similar species back more than 100 million years to the early Cretacious period. For that reason, gar are sometimes called living fossils.
The alligator gar found in Fenimore Park will be kept for preservation and educational purposes, according to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.