Monday, 21 April 2014

Elusive Oarfish Filmed in Rare Footage

APR 8, 2014 11:30 AM ET // BY TIM WALL

Oarfish, including the 36-foot-long (11 meters) giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), normally elude human eyes in the depths of the oceans. However, a lucky group of tourists recently filmed two oarfish in the shallow, coastal waters of Baja, Mexico. The oarfish observers were kayaking as part of a cruise run by Shedd Aquarium and Un-Cruise Adventures.

Oarfish live around the globe in temperate and tropical waters, down to 3,000 feet (915 meters) below the waves. Yet, despite the fishes' wide distribution, oceanographers and other humans rarely glimpse the four known species of oarfish in the deep sea habitat they prefer.

Most encounters with oarfish occur when the animals wash up dead on the beach, or sick in the shallows. The health of the oarfish filmed on the Baja coast was unknown. Last year, a dead 18-foot oarfish was towed to shore by a snorkeler at Catalina Island off the California coast. Then a 14-foot oarfish corpse turned up north of San Diego a few days later. The bigger fish was filled with parasites, reported Live Science, while the smaller fish was filled with hundreds of thousands of eggs, reported the AP.

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