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Unusual Creature From The Deep


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Unusual creature from the deep

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

by Michael Thompson

You will certainly not find it in your local fish co-op and its strange almost prehistoric appearance makes it more suited to some primeval sea than the waters off the Camden Haven.

However a group of Diamond Head campers came across the strange creature from the deep on Friday August 18 washed up at the southern end of South Beach.

The ribbonfish or more correctly known by its scientific name of Lepidopus caudatus is a rare visitor to our shores.

That is because the two metre long fish lives at depths of up to 1000 metres in the temperate waters off the south eastern coast of Australia.

Despite several attempts by the campers to return the fish to the ocean the ribbonfish with its huge five centimetre eyes and long thin body continued to swim back to the beach.

"I've never seen one before. It was still breathing when I saw it and there were no obvious injuries on it," National Parks and Wildlife ranger Andrew Marshall said.

"It had a very primitive looking mouth and tiny teeth with small bumps all over its textured skin and a long whip tail."

The rare fish which is being kept on ice at the Laurieton fish co-op will be transported by refrigerated truck to the Sydney fish markets next Monday to be picked up by staff from the Australian Museum.

Australian Museum fish collection manager Mark McGrouther says the fish will be preserved and photographed and added to their enormous collection of fishes which are kept for research purposes.

"Being a deep water fish we don't know much about the ribbonfish but they probably eat small bony fish, squid and planktonic crustaceans," Mr McGrouther said.

"The fish will help us to establish their distribution range around Australia."


Here's a pic of one from another site:



Edited by MallacootaPete
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i have some pics from some of the weird and wonderful things that were washed up on beaches after the sunami - & i mean weird

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i have some pics from some of the weird and wonderful things that were washed up on beaches after the sunami - & i mean weird

Hi crow, contrary to popular belief, those fish that you're talking about may have been collected on this expedition: http://www.oceans.gov.au/norfanz/library.htm , not washed up after the tsunami (or so this link says: http://www.snopes.com/photos/tsunami/creature.asp .

Didn't Mako catch one of them a few weeks back??

Indeed he did, netic.


Edited by Flattieman
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There must be afew types of fish known as ribbonfish.

This one has much larger fins on the top and bottom and has a larger

head that gets very thin very quickly towards the tail.

The one I caught looked more like a hairtail and had an

even shape all the way down the body.

There are some really weird things down in the deep. :wacko:

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