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Fish belt, orfish herring king

The fish belt is an amazing sea creature. It is very long and has an unusual tape shape. For a long time this fish was considered fantastic until it fell into the hands of researchers, who confirmed that it actually exists, although it is rarely found due to the secretive lifestyle.

Eyewitnesses who encountered her in the ocean or saw her remains on the shore, consider this the most memorable sight in life.

The fish belt is shaped like a ribbon

You can meet amazing fish in warm or temperate waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Oceans. It is also found in Iceland and the North Sea.

The animals are suited to the hot tropical and dry Mediterranean climate, so they do not exist in the waters of Russia, although some specimens were thrown out after a storm on the shores of the Sea of ​​Japan.

In the water, they feel good at a depth of 500 to 1000 m, but sometimes they rise to the surface itself. These fish are not able to resist the flow, therefore, they cannot actively swim in the horizontal direction, which makes it possible to classify them as oceanic ichthyoplankton.

This species usually includes small organisms, so the herring king and the three meter long moonfish are exceptions.

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Biologist Peter Ascanius, who studied the marine fauna, found two specimens on the coast of the old trading port in the Norwegian city of Bergen. In 1772, he made a scientific description of the species, which was given several names at once:

  • ordinary belt fish;
  • remnetel;
  • herring king.

In Latin, the name sounds like Regalecus glesne. The first part of the species name is formed by a combination of the words “king” (rex) and “herring” (allec).

The idea was borrowed from the Norwegian fishermen, who gave the creature a name for its constant stay in the shoals of oceanic herring and the elongated first rays of the dorsal fin, forming a kind of crown on the head. The last word is the reassigned name of the port of Glessver, where Ascanius found the fish.

Sometimes a fish is called by its transcription from English – oarfish, but this creature has more rare names. For example, in Japan, he was given the poetic nickname “King of the underwater palace”, and some prosaically call him “fish-paddle” for characteristic rotations with pelvic fins when moving.

The popular name of the fish belt – fish-paddle

Fish-belt has a very unusual look. Its long, scale-free body, reaching 3.5 m, is only 5 centimeters thick and 25 centimeters high.

It is painted in silvery white with dark short spots and stripes on the sides. The lateral line in the lower body is long.

There is no swimming bubble.

The body is crowned with a short bluish head with big eyes and a small vertical mouth. On the body, covered with longitudinal rows of tubercles, there is a long dorsal fin of several hundred soft rays.

It originates above the eye and ends only at the back of the body. 10−15 front rays are elongated compared to the subsequent and have webbed extensions on the tops.

The pectoral fins are short and horizontal. Under them are abdominal, consisting of only one long beam, at the end of a paddle-like flattened. The tail fin has lost its main meaning in the process of evolution and consists of several long free rays in young representatives.

All organs of motion are bright red. Some ichthyologists argue that the primary role of the fins is not movement, but the perception of taste sensations.

Currently, D. Olney is working on the proof of this statement, studying the past and present life of the oarfish.

The longevity of the species has not yet been established.

Oarfish, as a species, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. He was honored with this honor for the largest size among all the bony fishes currently in existence.

Individual representatives grow by almost 10 meters, the longest registered copy reached 11 m, and the largest – 272 kg.

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The fish king moves very unusually in comparison with other inhabitants of the underwater world. His body is located almost vertically in the water column, the head is at the top. The body of the harp has a larger proportion than water.

So that it does not fall while swimming, the creature makes translational undulating movements with a long dorsal fin. This allows you to move at low speed. If the fish needs to move faster, it will bend not only the fin, but the whole body.

Such data were obtained on the basis of observations of a large specimen in the waters of Indonesia.

Oarfish is a predator. Its main food is represented by the following organisms:

  • plankton;
  • marine crustaceans;
  • small fish;
  • clams.

The shoals of herring, among which one can often find a fish-belt, can also become food for a predator.

Spawning creatures occur in the period from July to December. The female lays brightly colored eggs from 2 to 4 mm in size. They drift with the ocean current and stay at the surface of the water.

The sun does not affect them due to the bright color, not transmitting ultraviolet rays. The larvae develop in the surface layer of water, mainly in winter.

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Oarfish belongs to the family of Remteel, which also includes a very rare genus of agrostihts. Their description was compiled in only 7 copies caught in the open sea of ​​Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and the southeastern part of the Atlantic Ocean.

The silvery body of the agrostichts with a pink dorsal fin, formed by 400 rays, has no scales and is studded with solid tubercles. The sensitive lateral line is represented by a solid tube consisting of oblong plates.

It is assumed that agrostichty not grow in length more than 3 meters.

Detachment oarfish – opaque. This means that his relatives include Backgammon and Pearl Eyes, but the closest one is serpentine fish.

It is inferior to the fish-king because of the impressive size and spectacular appearance, it prefers a secretive lifestyle, therefore it fell into the hands of scientists no more than five times.

Nevertheless, her way of eating is well studied. Serpentine eats invertebrates and small fish. In the process of hunting, he pushes the upper jaw so much that the area of ​​his mouth increases 40 times.

Unsuspecting victims fall into this trap.

The use of fish-belts for food purposes is extremely limited. Many people consider their meat inedible, some animals also refuse it.

Nevertheless, the harp still can be found on the grocery markets, if it comes across in the network for fishing. Gourmets believe that the fish becomes a delicacy, if you cook it in a special way.

But in sport fishing, the oarfish is quite popular. Catching him is considered a great success and a sign of skill.

But it threatens the existence of amazing fish. It is not known how many representatives of the species live at the moment.

If they are destroyed by fishermen, the world will lose one of the most amazing creatures, and it is impossible to breed them in artificial conditions.

Meetings with the herring king took place from ancient times. Ancient people saw him as a supernatural being, and in the modern world, when a scientific description of an organism has already been made, its appearance is still discouraging.

Rare eyewitness accounts are recorded as far as possible, some stories are simply interesting, others are almost detective.

In ancient times, the fish belt was considered a supernatural being.

Before the creature was discovered and scientifically described, it was perceived by eyewitnesses as a sea serpent. We saw it in antiquity, oarfish is mentioned in the works of the classics, for example, Aristotle.

People were afraid of meeting with a huge fish, they promised misfortune. Its huge remains, which could be found on the shore, were painted in the imagination of the sailors by a monster with a bull, a dragon, or, more often, a horse head and an orange mane, for which the elongated rays of the dorsal fin could be taken.

Red fins were taken for algae, in which the monster is confused, getting out of the depths of the ocean to the surface.

But if the majority of eyewitnesses perceived fish only as a devilish creature, the Catholics believed that its spots on the skin were the traces of the fingers of the apostle Peter, who was engaged in fishing before he followed Christ.

Many did not believe in the existence of such a beast, because there were few eyewitnesses, and all of them, being impressed, described what they saw in different ways. No matter how incredible it may sound, but a sea serpent can really exist.

Only his role, most likely, was played not by the herd king, but by some gigantic eel.

An indirect confirmation of this was obtained in 1930, when a larva more than 120 cm long was caught off the coast of South Africa, which is more than 12 times the usual size of eels at this age. This finding means that with a high degree of probability there are fish that exceed 20 m in length.

Perhaps it was these creatures that some sailors saw?

Another name for fish belt is sea serpent.

Scared of this creature, not only many centuries ago, but in the new time. At the beginning of the 19th century, a nineteen meter body was found, which was mistaken for a sea serpent, although later museum workers claimed that it was a large specimen of fish belt.

In the middle of the 20th century, a woman walking in the evening with her poodle saw a huge body of six meters length on the ocean coast in the Malibu California village. She was so frightened that she woke up with her cry all the neighbors, who immediately ran to the shore.

One of them decided to transfer the body to the authorities and loaded it onto the roof of his car, but did not manage to drive off, as he was stopped by a police car.

The officers wanted to inspect the cargo on the roof. Seeing it in the light of headlights, they decided that a huge body could have value, which means that it was dangerous to transport it, so it was decided to call experts. Their role was played by university zoologists Boyd Walker and Vlad Walters.

They took the monster to the lab.

Herring King – one of the rare ocean fish

After all the necessary measurements and analyzes, the experts found that the creature found was one of the rarest and most beautiful ocean fish, the herring king. A copy found during this detective story, was transferred to the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles, where he exhibited so far. Unlike other underwater inhabitants, the belt fish is surprisingly well preserved and looks almost like a living one.

The only defect is the traces of the teeth on the tail, which are apparently the result of a fight with a shark.

In most cases, eyewitnesses met the herring king already dead, thrown on dry land. But there are those who are lucky enough to meet him in his native habitat – water. Recorded meetings were as follows:

  • biologist Wood Jones saw fish in 1906 near Sumbawa Island, but attempts to catch it with the help of nets were unsuccessful, the king did not react to bait;
  • the naturalist C. Holder had the opportunity to observe the amazing creation in 1925 in the shallow waters of a bay in Southern California;
  • the crew of the border helicopter, flying in 1972 past the Shantary Islands, observed from a 20-meter height a thin creature approximately 17 m long, frolicking on the surface, but after a few minutes disappeared into the depths;
  • fishermen putting nets in the eastern Pacific Ocean caught the herring king in 1986, but he died while they were trying to get him.

Thus, the herring king is not a fairy tale or mythical character, but a real living organism. This proves how amazing beings nature creates, and suggests the idea of ​​what other animals are hidden from human eyes in the underwater depths.

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