Researchers have discovered that the lionfish, a predator with venomous spines, has invaded Caribbean coral reefs and is eating native species.

The species has invaded an area known as the twilight zone – an area of ocean that lies below scuba diving depths, where little is known about the reefs and the species that inhabit them.

While on a submarine dive, the researchers recorded footage of a lionfish hunting a new species of goby fish that had not yet been named – and this may indicate an uncertain future for other as-yet undiscovered species in unexplored deep-ocean coral reefs.

Researchers from the University of Washington and the Smithsonian Institution say this is the first reported case of lionfish preying upon a fish species that had not yet been named.

Lionfish likely came to the Caribbean from an aquarium release off the coast of Florida in the early 1990s.

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