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The discovery of two gigantic fossils of a 160-million-year-old blood-sucking creature in northern China has stunned scientists.

According to a new paper published in Nature Communications, the "unusually large fossils" have turned up.

They belonged to the stonefish, an ancient species of jawless fish that can still be found in the Atlantic today. This parasitic fish has a funnel-like mouth full of teeth, used to attach to other creatures.

These new fossils, discovered in the Jurassic in northern China, are ten times larger than the oldest stonemen ever found!

The terrifying creature in the sea: "Stonehenge"

The anatomical feature that makes the gizzard shad an effective killer of lake trout and other bony fish is its disk-shaped suction cup mouth surrounded by sharp, horny teeth that allow it to latch onto an unfortunate fish.

The gizzard shark uses its stiff tongue to extract the fish's flesh so that it can begin to suck out its host's blood and other bodily fluids. One stonefish kills about 40 kilograms of fish each year.

"Yanliaomyzon occisor, one of the two Jurassic species, means 'sucker killer'," says Feixiang Wu, one of the study's authors and a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It is the largest tachymene fossil with perfectly preserved teeth ever found in the world.

Today, a gizzard shad can kill around 40 kilos of fish each year and cause massive damage to the environment. In the 1830s, these gizzard shad invaded the Great Lakes and killed many important fish such as trout, whitefish, perch and sturgeon. This led to a major collapse of fisheries in the region.