Fact of the Day: Oarfish - Oceana USA
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August 13, 2010

Fact of the Day: Oarfish

BY: MollyH

The oarfish is the longest bony fish in the world — there have even been some reports of fish up to 50 feet long (and weighing up to 600 pounds)!  They are so long that many believe that these fish are the cause of some early tales of sea serpents and sea monsters.  Because of its sinuous body, it is occasionally called the ribbonfish.

Oarfish are rarely seen alive and generally stay in fairly deep waters.  Most oarfish are spotted only when sick or dying oarfish come to the surface of the water.  In fact, the first time an oarfish was photographed underwater was 1997. 

They eat small fish, crustaceans, plankton, and squid and have no visible teeth.  As a result, it is believed that oarfish are occasionally food for larger sharks. 

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