Needlefish found in Dorset garden

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A couple from Dorset made an unusual discovery in their back garden yesterday morning.

Stuart and Heather Morris from Portland found a fish — described as grey green in colour, with a long, sharp nose and teeth — by their children's swings.

It's thought the fish may have been swept into the garden during the recent storm, which Mr Morris described as "terrible, with billowing winds."  

The fish was identified as a Garfish or Sea needle (Belone belone) by a marine awareness officer for the Dorset Wildlife Trust.

These fish can reach up to 0.9m/3' in length and tend to swim close to the surface. They are capable of jumping clear of the water if chased by predators.

"It's generally a summer fish along the southern and western coasts — the Garfish prefers warmer water and moves offshore in winter when the temperature drops," she told the Dorset Echo.

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