California 'sea serpent' was carrying eggs

2013-10-23 21:24
A marine science instructor snorkelling off the Southern California coast spotted the silvery carcass of the 5m long, serpent-like oarfish. (Catalina Island Marine Institute, AP)

A marine science instructor snorkelling off the Southern California coast spotted the silvery carcass of the 5m long, serpent-like oarfish. (Catalina Island Marine Institute, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Massive 'sea serpent' found in California

2013-10-17 09:15

Watch marine science instructor, Jasmine Santana, give a first-hand account of the huge oarfish discovered off the California coast earlier this week. WATCH

Los Angeles - A 4.2m oarfish that washed ashore in Southern California last week was ready to become a mommy.

The serpent-like fish - one of two discovered along the coast last week - was dissected on Monday and marine biologists found that the healthy female was ripe to spawn, HJ Walker of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said on Tuesday.

The silvery fish's 1.8m-long ovaries contained hundreds of thousands of eggs that were nearly ready to be released, Walker said.

The fish had lost its tail somehow while alive and it had disc-shaped wounds from cookiecutter sharks, but those injuries wouldn't have been deadly, Walker said.

In fact, it's unclear why the creature died, although Walker said it was possible the deep-water fish came too close to the surface, where it may have been knocked around by waves.

The oarfish washed up on a beach in the San Diego County coastal city of Oceanside on Friday. Several days earlier, a snorkeler found the carcass of an 5.4m oarfish off Catalina Island and dragged it to shore with some help.

The cause of death for the larger fish also remains a mystery.

The rarely seen deep sea-dwelling creatures, which can grow to more than 15m, may be the inspiration of sea monsters found in literature and throughout history.

Photos of the oarfish have circulated widely online, spurring general interest in the mysterious creature but contributing little to scientists' knowledge of the fish.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.