The oarfish is one of the most unusual fish that you may read about. They are so unusual that they are thought to be the inspiration for tales of sea serpents. Here are some interesting facts about the oarfish for kids.
Fascinating Oarfish Facts for Kids
1. The oarfish live in deep water and are rarely seen at the surface. It is thought to frequent depths of 3,300 feet or 1,000 metres. They are rarely observed by humans and it was only in 2001 that one was caught on film by the US Navy.
2. The oarfish is the longest bony fish in the world. This record can be found in the Guinness Book of World Records.
3. The oarfish can grow up to a length of 56 feet or 17 metres.
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4. A fully grown oarfish can weigh up to 600 pounds or 270 kg.
5. The oarfish is sometimes referred to as the king of herrings. This is because of its resemblance to the silver herring.
6. The oarfish gets its name from its long pectoral fins that look like the oars of boat. The fins move in a circular motion, similar to an oar. Unlike the majority of fish, oarfish do not have anal fins. They have a long dorsal fins that runs down their entire body.
7. Other names that it goes by include ribbon fish, streamer fish and rooster fish.
8. The scientific name for the oarfish is Regalecus glesne and consists of three species in two genera. The three species are the Giant Oarfish, the streamer fish and Regalecus russeii.
9. The oarfish can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
10. The oarfish swims in a unique vertical position.
11. They were thought to be mistaken as sea serpents because of their appearance at the surface of the water.
12. Even though they are so large, oarfish are not dangerous. They feed on plankton and krill and don’t even have real teeth. Instead, they have gill rakers that are used to catch the plankton.
13. Oarfish do not have scales. In place of scales, they have tubercules and guanine. This adaptations allow them to live in the depths of the sea.
14. Most of their organs are close to the head. This allows them to survive even if their tails are cut off.
15. Oarfish are said to be omens of impending earthquakes. In some traditions, when oarfish are sighted on the surface, it indicates that there could be an upcoming earthquake. There could be some scientific basis for this as fish that live in the deep sea could be more sensitive to seismic activities.
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