Scientists from the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a new goby fish species in the southern Caribbean. Named Godzilla goby, this fish looks reptilian, has a head larger than its body, and has rows of recurved canine teeth in each of its jaws, resembling the famous monster.

Scientists formally call Godzilla goby as Varicus lacerta, which means lizard in Latin. Its eyes are green and its body has the colors bright yellow and orange. These findings have been published on June 8 in the journal ZooKeys and were done as part of the Institution’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP).

Moreover, Godzilla goby has branched pelvic-fin rays that look like feathers. Like several fish species, this newly discovered one does not have any scales.

Godzilla goby

The holotype of the new Godzilla goby fish prior to preservation. Credit: Carole Baldwin and Ross Robertson

The discovery was made possible through the manned submersible Curasub. Curasub has already contributed to the discovery and confirmation of several species over the course of the DROP. The research team is composed of Luke Tornabene, Ross Robertson, and Carole Baldwin, and they all work for the Smithsonian Institution.

Researchers Baldwin and Robertson have been credited with the discovery of another species of goby in 2015. The fish was named after the Curasub. The findings were described in the same journal as this new one.

The manned Curasub reaches up to 300 meters below the ocean surface, a depth ideal for discovering and studying various tropical marine fish and invertebrates. It is designed with two hydraulic arms, one of which has a suction hose and another built to administer a chemical that will immobilize the fish being studied temporarily.

After immobilizing and collecting the samples, the scientists place them on an acrylic cylinder attached to the submersible. The research team says that the manned submersible has been crucial in gathering new information about the marine life located in deep-reef ecosystems, which remains poorly understood.