Thursday, May 07, 2009

Rare fish: Oarfish

The Oarfish is the longest bony fish. It normally measures 16 to 35 feet (5 to 11 meters) long. However, people have reported seeing oarfish more than 55 feet (17 meters) in length. The fish live in temperate (mild) and warm seas, normally at depths of 1,000 to 2,000 feet (300 to 610 meters). They have flat-sided, silvery bodies with bright red fins. On the underside of an adult's body, two long pelvic fins end in blade-shaped swellings. These fins resemble the oars of a rowboat, giving the fish its name. The Oarfish is very rare and has only been captured on film alive a handful of times.
At the end of their life cycle they come into shallow water to die, which is usually the only time we see them.