Credit: M. C. Benfield et al.

Photo of the Day ~ The Mysterious Oarfish!

Louisiana State University marine biologists have just released video shot from an ROV in 2009 showing a shimmering giant oarfish, regalecus glesne, in it’s natural habitat, 1,475 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Reported to be the longest bony fish alive, the giant oarfish has a ribbon-like body and has been reliably documented to grow to 25 feet in length, although specimens up to 56 feet long have been reported. These strange ribbon-like creatures live at extreme ocean depths as much as 3,280 feet below the surface, and are found worldwide in all tropical and temperate oceans.

Photo: US Navy

Photo: US Navy

Until now, it was believed that a swimming oarfish would ‘row’ with its pelvic fins in a circular motion, hence the common name. The strange pelvic fins are now thought to be used for taste perception and not locomotion.

And what scientists think now is that it uses a form of location called amiiform swimming in which its dorsal fin, which runs the length of its sizable body, undulates while the body itself remains straight and motionless – like a seahorse! 

 

 

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3 Responses to Photo of the Day ~ The Mysterious Oarfish!

  1. Sara says:

    This is amazing! Does anyone know how far apart the laser scale points are in the video?

    Thanks for posting! Awesome video to show in our field course.