The fish is part of a 100-million-year-old species. And even though he has a bit of a monstrous appearance, he's of course not a river monster at all. He's a juvenile longnose gar, a freshwater fish with a sizable population of over 100,000 adults in North America. Though other subspecies of gar can reach up to 10 feet long, this particular fish is 2 feet, which is about the subspecies's average size.
In his post on National Geographic's website, the photographer noted that, "Living fossils like the gar are a reminder that our buildings and byways are a very recent arrival to this ancient landscape."
The gar fittingly earned his name from the Anglo-Saxon word for "spear". However, the species far predates any Anglo-Saxon language. These creatures have swam on Earth for the past 100 million years without significant evolutionary changes.
The plight of other animals
Fish were not the only nonhumans affected by the flooding. Shelters for domestic animals reached full capacity as some shelters were flooded and new animals were taken in.
Austin residents have stepped up to the challenge of caring for the animals affected by the flood. Here's a picture of residents waiting in line to become foster parents to dogs and cats who were misplaced by the flooding.