If you have any trepidation about swimming in a lake or pond, you may just want to skip this article, because it's not going to do anything to ease your fears. In fact, I think even the bravest soul would think twice about tipping their toes in the water if they saw what one Indiana man recently saw on the bank.

bowfin
Facebook/Donald Estep
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Donald Estep was enjoying a warm, sunny day at Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area up in Northern Indiana when something on the ground caught his eye. He looked down and saw the crazy-looking creature above looking up at him. Is it smiling or snarling, or what? Well, it's not doing anything except rotting in the sun. What Donald saw was a dead bowfin.

nas.er.usgs.gov
nas.er.usgs.gov
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Bowfins are common in Indiana, most often found in lakes, rivers, and marshes. You might recognize the bowfin by one of its many other names - they are also known as dogfish, grindle, grinnel, cypress trout, swamp muskie, black fish, cottonfish, swamp bass, speckled cat, and beaverfish. Bowfins are a unique species - they are similar to aquatic mammals in that they breathe air. They regularly go above the water’s surface to get a big breath of air.

IN.gov
IN.gov
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Are Bowfins Dangerous to Humans?

With teeth like that, you might assume that bowfins are dangerous to just about anything they encounter, and you would be right. Here's what A-Z-Animals.com says about them...

Bowfins are ferocious predators who chase and devour anything that moves in their path. This means that any part of your body that is submerged in water can be eaten by them, such as your finger. However, it may be difficult, or even impossible, for bowfins to break your finger bones apart to swallow the chunk inside, but they will certainly mark your fingertip with a scar.

You certainly don't want a bowfin eating you, and you probably don't want to eat one of them either. They are edible, but apparently don't taste very good - but I guess that is subjective. One man's trash fish is another man's treasure fish, right?

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