The carcass of a 4 meter long oarfish was found last week on the shores of Catalina Island.
The oarfish is a rare species of fish that looks like it’s from another planet and lives deep in the ocean, making it very rare to be seen.
The biologists believe that 4 meter long oarfish died soon after it was washed ashore; the giant fish was found by two workers who were on the beach at that moment.
Amy Catalano, a researcher at the Catalina Island Conservancy, said that the oarfish has very long ovaries and is such an otherworldly, amazing fish.
This is not the first time an oarfish is found lying dead on the beach.
Two years ago, in 2013 another, bigger oarfish washed ashore Catalina Island. This one measured almost 5.5 meters (18 feet).
A few days after, another oarfish appeared on the on a San Diego beach.
John Lundberg, a scientist at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, said that no one really knows for sure why these giant fish end up on shore. Lundberg adds that there is a lot of mystery surrounding this species and little information is known about them.
One of the theories is that the oarfish, which dwells in very deep waters, comes to surface either because it is sick or something disturbed it.
Once they are out of the deep water, the oarfish die, Lundberg believes.
Another theory is that the oarfish end up on beaches because of old age, but nothing is certain until further studies.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA) agrees with the one of the theories, writing on their official website that the oarfish may come to the surface and end up on the shore because they are seriously injured or dying.
Lundberg said that because the oarfish is very hard to examine in its natural habitat, when it gets washed up on the shore, researchers take advantage of this and examine the creature.
The oarfish that was found last week was taken to California State University where it will be examined by a team of experts led by Misty Paig-Tran, assistant professor of biology.
The biologist said it will be spending some time to examine the oarfish’s bone structure and the way it feeds.
Other researchers will examine the creature’s muscle tissue and gills, while a team of scientists will analyze the ovaries of the fish.
Image Source: csmonitor