Oar Fish

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.

Anatomy and morphology

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]

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