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1
GIANT OARFISH: REAL SEA SERPENTS
GIANT OARFISH: REAL SEA SERPENTS
::2013/06/12::
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2
Rare oarfish sighting
Rare oarfish sighting
::2014/04/07::
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3
GIANT OARFISH FILMED IN MEXICO
GIANT OARFISH FILMED IN MEXICO
::2014/04/11::
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4
Giant oarfish -Video of 18 ft sea serpent; unidentified creature or monster oarfish in California!
Giant oarfish -Video of 18 ft sea serpent; unidentified creature or monster oarfish in California!
::2013/10/16::
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5
EXTREMELY RARE EST. 15-20
EXTREMELY RARE EST. 15-20' OARFISH, SEA SERPENT ALIVE!!
::2012/10/13::
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6
Oarfish: The Ultimate Fish Tale
Oarfish: The Ultimate Fish Tale
::2014/07/24::
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7
32   The Oarfish
32 The Oarfish
::2013/12/08::
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8
พบปลาพญานาค Oarfish
พบปลาพญานาค Oarfish
::2014/05/29::
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9
Louisiana scientist believe they captured the Mysterious Giant Oarfish on camera for the first time
Louisiana scientist believe they captured the Mysterious Giant Oarfish on camera for the first time
::2013/06/09::
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10
Rare oarfish sighting 2014 (NEW)
Rare oarfish sighting 2014 (NEW)
::2014/04/09::
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11
Oarfish - Sea Serpent
Oarfish - Sea Serpent
::2008/03/23::
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12
Could This Oarfish Mean the Next Big Earthquake?
Could This Oarfish Mean the Next Big Earthquake?
::2014/04/09::
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13
Oarfish
Oarfish
::2006/07/28::
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14
Giant Oarfish Swims Under Kayak
Giant Oarfish Swims Under Kayak
::2014/03/25::
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15
HUGE ASS OARFISH caught in Cabo San Lucas
HUGE ASS OARFISH caught in Cabo San Lucas
::2012/10/20::
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16
Oarfish Could Signal Earthquake!
Oarfish Could Signal Earthquake!
::2013/10/17::
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17
The Oarfish, the King of Herrings
The Oarfish, the King of Herrings
::2012/09/03::
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18
Octonauts and The Oarfish (Season 1 - Episode 32) Full Episode
Octonauts and The Oarfish (Season 1 - Episode 32) Full Episode
::2014/04/21::
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19
Video of the Oarfish, Regalecus glesne
Video of the Oarfish, Regalecus glesne
::2013/06/06::
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20
NGHIÊN CỨU LOÀI CÁ OARFISH Ở ĐÁY SÂU ĐẠI DƯƠNG
NGHIÊN CỨU LOÀI CÁ OARFISH Ở ĐÁY SÂU ĐẠI DƯƠNG
::2013/10/19::
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21
18 Foot Oarfish Found off Catalina Island
18 Foot Oarfish Found off Catalina Island
::2013/10/15::
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22
UCSB Scientists Find Parasites in Giant Oarfish
UCSB Scientists Find Parasites in Giant Oarfish
::2013/10/28::
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23
Oarfish: Rare 18ft
Oarfish: Rare 18ft 'sea serpent' discovered off California coast
::2013/10/16::
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24
Octonauts Creatures - OARFISH - (3D video)
Octonauts Creatures - OARFISH - (3D video)
::2014/02/17::
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25
Ikan Duyung Atau Oarfish Yang Bisa Berenang sejauh 1.600 meter di bawah permukaan Laut
Ikan Duyung Atau Oarfish Yang Bisa Berenang sejauh 1.600 meter di bawah permukaan Laut
::2013/06/11::
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26
Giant
Giant 'Sea Serpent' Caught on Camera
::2010/02/09::
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27
Giant 18-foot oarfish found off California coast
Giant 18-foot oarfish found off California coast
::2013/10/16::
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28
Living Oarfish 11/01/2010 リュウグウノツカイ
Living Oarfish 11/01/2010 リュウグウノツカイ
::2010/01/21::
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29
oarfish
oarfish
::2008/01/11::
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30
Fishao - Salty Catching Giant Oarfish! (5★)
Fishao - Salty Catching Giant Oarfish! (5★)
::2014/06/15::
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31
5 meter long oarfish discovered off California coast
5 meter long oarfish discovered off California coast
::2013/10/16::
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32
Is The 2nd Oarfish The 2nd "Discovery Of A Lifetime"?
Is The 2nd Oarfish The 2nd "Discovery Of A Lifetime"?
::2013/10/22::
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33
Oarfish Dissection California (Oceanside)
Oarfish Dissection California (Oceanside)
::2014/01/08::
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34
Longest bony oarfish
Longest bony oarfish
::2013/01/24::
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35
oarfish -Full Version-
oarfish -Full Version-
::2011/12/13::
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36
Giant Oarfish, Oh my! - Science on the Web #36
Giant Oarfish, Oh my! - Science on the Web #36
::2013/12/18::
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37
Kors K - Oarfish
Kors K - Oarfish
::2011/03/25::
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38
Oarfish caught  in Dania Beach.
Oarfish caught in Dania Beach.
::2011/05/10::
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39
Rare 18 Foot
Rare 18 Foot 'Sea Monster' Oarfish Discovered
::2013/10/16::
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40
Oarfish (Kors K)
Oarfish (Kors K)
::2009/12/03::
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41
Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Catching the Oarfish
Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Catching the Oarfish
::2013/07/03::
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42
Octonauts and the Oarfish (Series 1 - Episode 32)
Octonauts and the Oarfish (Series 1 - Episode 32)
::2013/04/13::
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43
Oarfish Encounter
Oarfish Encounter
::2014/03/04::
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44
Un-Cruise Adventures: Oarfish
Un-Cruise Adventures: Oarfish
::2014/03/24::
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45
18-foot oarfish found off Catalina Island
18-foot oarfish found off Catalina Island
::2013/10/15::
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46
Video when the oarfish was captured in Mexico
Video when the oarfish was captured in Mexico
::2013/05/07::
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47
It succeeds in feeding of Oarfish 2m
It succeeds in feeding of Oarfish 2m
::2014/03/31::
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48
Second oarfish washes ashore in California
Second oarfish washes ashore in California
::2013/10/21::
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49
Oarfish
Oarfish
::2013/07/02::
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50
Fishao - Salty losing a huge Giant Oarfish
Fishao - Salty losing a huge Giant Oarfish
::2014/06/13::
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Not to be confused with Paddlefish.
Oarfish
King of herrings.png
Giant oarfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Lampriformes
Family: Regalecidae
Genera

Agrostichthys
Regalecus

United States servicemen holding a 23-foot (7.0 m) giant oarfish, found washed up on the shore near San Diego, California in September 1996

Oarfish are large, greatly elongated, pelagic lampriform fish belonging to the small family Regalecidae.[1] Found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen, the oarfish family contains four species in two genera. One of these, the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), is the longest bony fish alive, growing to up to 11 m (36 ft) in length. That is not enough to qualify as the longest fish, however, as some of the cartilaginous fish such as the basking shark and whale shark are even longer.

The common name oarfish is thought to be in reference either to their highly compressed and elongated bodies, or to the now discredited belief that the fish "row" themselves through the water with their pelvic fins.[2] The family name Regalecidae is derived from the Latin regalis, meaning "royal". The occasional beachings of oarfish after storms, and their habit of lingering at the surface when sick or dying, make oarfish a probable source of many sea serpent tales like "The Serpent of Gloucester" and so forth. The tales that have come from these odd creatures have struck fear into the hearts of many people before they knew what it was.

Although the larger species are considered game fish and are fished commercially to a minor extent, oarfish are rarely caught alive; their flesh is not well regarded due to its gelatinous consistency.

Anatomy and morphology[edit]

Oarfish that washed ashore on a Bermuda beach in 1860: The fish was 16 ft (4.9 m) long and was originally described as a sea serpent. It was even suggested by the The Inverness Courier in 1933 that sightings of the Loch Ness Monster were actually oarfish.

The dorsal fin originates from above the (relatively small) eyes and runs the entire length of the fish. Of the approximately 400 dorsal fin rays, the first 10 to 12 are elongated to varying degrees, forming a trailing crest embellished with reddish spots and flaps of skin at the ray tips. The pelvic fins are similarly elongated and adorned, reduced to one to five rays each. The pectoral fins are greatly reduced and situated low on the body. The anal fin is completely absent and the caudal fin may be reduced or absent, as well, with the body tapering to a fine point. All fins lack true spines. At least one account, from researchers in New Zealand, described the oarfish as giving off "electric shocks" when touched.[2]

Like other members of its order, the oarfish has a small yet highly protrusible oblique mouth with no visible teeth. The body is scaleless and the skin is covered with easily abraded, silvery guanine. In the streamer fish (Agrostichthys parkeri), the skin is clad with hard tubercles. All species lack gas bladders and the number of gill rakers is variable.

Oarfish coloration is also variable; the flanks are commonly covered with irregular bluish to blackish streaks, black dots, and squiggles. These markings quickly fade following death. The giant oarfish is by far the largest member of the family at a published total length of 11 m (36 ft)—with unconfirmed reports of 17 m (56 ft)[3][4] specimens—and 270 kg (600 lb) in weight.[5] The streamer fish is known to reach 3 m (10 ft) in length,[6] while the largest recorded specimen of Regalecus russelii measured 5.4 m (18 ft).[7]

Distribution[edit]

The members of the family are known to have a worldwide range. However, human encounters with live oarfish are rare, and distribution information is collated from records of oarfish caught or washed ashore.[2]

Encounters with two washed-up oarfish occurred in Southern California in October 2013.[8] In March 2014, another was filmed by a kayaker on an expedition sponsored by the Shedd Aquarium.[9]

Ecology and life history[edit]

Rare encounters with divers and accidental catches have supplied what little is known of oarfish behaviour and ecology. Apparently solitary animals, oarfish may frequent significant depths up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft). An oarfish measuring 3.3 m (11 ft) and 63.5 kg (140 lb) was reported to have been caught on 17 February 2003 by Ms Val Fletcher using a fishing rod baited with squid, at Skinningrove, United Kingdom.[10]

A photograph on display in bars, restaurants, guesthouses, and markets around Laos and Thailand captioned "Queen of Nāgas was seized by the American Army at Mekhong River, Laos Military Base, on June 27, 1973, with the length of 7.80 metres" is, as far as the caption goes, a hoax. The photograph was taken by Dr. Leo Smith of the Field Museum, of an oarfish found in September 1996 by United States Navy SEAL trainees on the coast of Coronado, California.[11][12]

Behavior[edit]

In 2001, an oarfish was filmed alive in situ: the 1.5-metre (4.9-foot) fish was spotted by a group of U.S. Navy personnel during the inspection of a buoy in the Bahamas.[13] The oarfish was observed to propel itself by an amiiform mode of swimming; that is, rhythmically undulating the dorsal fin while keeping the body itself straight. Perhaps indicating a feeding posture, oarfish have been observed swimming in a vertical orientation, with their long axis perpendicular to the ocean surface. In this posture, the downstreaming light would silhouette the oarfishes' prey, making them easier to spot.

In July 2008, scientists captured footage of the rare fish swimming in its natural habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the first ever confirmed sighting of an oarfish at depth, as most specimens are discovered dying at the sea surface or washed ashore. The fish was estimated to be between 5 and 10 m (16 and 33 ft) in length.[14]

As part of the SERPENT Project, five observations of apparently healthy oarfish Regalecus glesne by remotely operated vehicles were reported from the northern Gulf of Mexico between 2008 and 2011 at depths within the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones.[15] These observations include the deepest verified record of R. glesne (463–492 m (1,519–1,614 ft)).[16]

From December 2009 to March 2010, unusual numbers of the slender oarfish Regalecus russelii[7] (宮の使い “Ryūgū-No-Tsukai”,) known in Japanese folklore as the Messenger from the Sea God's Palace, appeared in the waters and on the beaches of Japan, the appearance of which is said to portend earthquakes.[17]

Feeding ecology[edit]

Oarfish feed primarily on zooplankton, selectively straining tiny euphausiids, shrimp, and other crustaceans from the water. Small fish, jellyfish, and squid are also taken. Large open-ocean carnivores are all likely predators of oarfish.

Life history[edit]

The oceanodromous Regalecus glesne is recorded as spawning off Mexico from July to December; all species are presumed to not guard their eggs, and release brightly coloured, buoyant eggs, up to 6 mm (0.24 in) across, which are incorporated into the zooplankton. The eggs hatch after about three weeks into highly active larvae that feed on other zooplankton. The larvae have little resemblance to the adults, with long dorsal and pelvic fins and extensible mouths.[2] Larvae and juveniles have been observed drifting just below the surface. In contrast, adult oarfish are rarely seen at the surface when not sick or injured. Oarfish are most likely responsible for many mythical sightings of sea serpents.

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2005). "Regalecidae" in FishBase. February 2005 version.
  • Pete Thomas, Blue Demons, The Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2006.
  • Fishes: An Introduction to ichthyology. Peter B. Moyle and Joseph J. Cech, Jr; p. 338. Printed in 2004. Prentice-Hall, Inc; Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. ISBN 0-13-100847-1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2007). "Regalecidae" in FishBase. March 2007 version.
  2. ^ a b c d Olney, John E. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 157–159. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. 
  3. ^ Bourton, Jody. Giant bizarre deep sea fish filmed in Gulf of Mexico. BBC Earth News
  4. ^ Douglas Quenqua. Oarfish Offer Chance to Study an Elusive Animal Long Thought a Monster. New York Times. 2 November 2013
  5. ^ Burton, Maurice; Burton, Robert (2002). International Wildlife Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). New York: Marshall Cavendish. pp. 1767–1768. ISBN 0-7614-7279-7. 
  6. ^ "Agrostichthys parkeri (Benham, 1904) Streamer fish". FishBase Consortium. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  7. ^ a b "Regalecus russelii (Cuvier, 1816) species summary". FishBase Consortium. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  8. ^ "Quake rumours over new beached 'sea serpent' in US". BBC News. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Giant Oarfish Video". National Geographic. 
  10. ^ Jenkins, Russell (21 February 2003). "Woman angler lands legendary sea monster". The Times, London. Retrieved 25 February 2010. "The novice angler fishing off the rocks for mackerel thought that she must have hooked a big one. – Unfortunately the oarfish has been cut up into steaks for the pot." 
  11. ^ Ranges, Trevor (2002–2006). "A Big Fish Tale". thailandroad.com. p. 2. "We were on our morning physical fitness run when we came across this huge fish lying on the sand." 
  12. ^ JOSN Jojm; photos by LT DeeDee Van Wormer (April 1997). "SEALs and a serpent of the sea" (PDF). ALL HANDS. Naval Media Center. pp. 20–21. "The silvery serpent of the sea – an oarfish – was discovered last year by Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Instructor Signalman 2nd Class (SEAL) Kevin Blake." 
  13. ^ "Sustainability species Identification; Oarfish (Regalecus glesne Ascanius)". NOAA Fisheries service. Retrieved 28 September 2012. 
  14. ^ Bourton, Jody (2010-02-08). "Giant bizarre deep sea fish filmed in Gulf of Mexico". BBC. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  15. ^ http://www.serpentproject.com/
  16. ^ Benfield, M.C. (5 June 2013). "Five in situ observations of live oarfish Regalecus glesne (Regalecidae) by remotely operated vehicles in the oceanic waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico". Journal of Fish Biology. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Yamamoto, Daiki (4 Mar 2010). "Sea serpents' arrival puzzling, or portentous?". Kyodo News. Retrieved 6 Mar 2010. "TOYAMA — A rarely seen deep-sea fish regarded as something of a mystery has been giving marine experts food for thought recently after showing up in large numbers along the Sea of Japan coast." 

External links[edit]

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