An ancient fossil of the sabre-toothed anchovy fish unearthed in Pakistan has been named after a  witch because of its long, pointy teeth.

An almost 50-million-year-old fossil of another type of fish of the same species was found in Belgium.

A complete fossil or fossil of Belgium and another partial fossil has been found in the Salt Range of the Salt Mountains of the Punjab Province of Pakistan. According to experts, the teeth of this fish, like the big and pointed teeth (Saber Tooth) Tiger, were large and unusual which made it a dangerous predator and it used to hunt small fish. The strange thing is that today this kind of creature has almost no teeth and it lives by eating microscopic objects floating on the sea.


Experts led by Alessio Capobianco, a PhD student at the University of Michigan’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said the fossil was 45 million years old, according to Capobianco’s research paper in the Royal Society’s research journal.

The paper indicated that the fossil was discovered in “Rakhi Nala on the east side of the Sulaiman Range in the Dera Ghazi Khan” in Punjab.

“One meter in length, it lived in the shallow seas of Pakistan 45 million years ago,” said Capobianco.

According to an analysis, the ancient anchovy had a row of fine teeth in its lower jaw and a single, long, and pointed one in the upper jaw.

In present-day, however, the same species is tiny, has almost no teeth, and consumes microscopic objects floating in the sea. It forms the second-largest population among fishes of Pakistan.

According to WWF Pakistan Technical Adviser (Marine Fisheries) Moazzam Khan, it’s an integral part of pizza around the world and is also used in various other types of fish-based meals.

“It eats insects by sifting through the water,” Khan said.