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Parasites found in California 'sea serpent' dissection

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:21 p.m. HST, Oct 29, 2013

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. » One of two oarfish found in Southern California waters earlier this month had a host of parasites living in its giant, serpent-like body.

Scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara last week dissected the 18-foot oarfish found off Catalina Island and found large, larval tapeworms in its intestine. An adult spiny-headed worm also was found embedded in the intestine.

Scientists say the discovery of the parasites is important because it tells them what the natural enemies of the oarfish are and could indicate where the elusive fish lives or hunts for food.

A snorkeler found the carcass of the oarfish Oct. 13. Several days later, another oarfish washed ashore in Oceanside.

It's not known how either died.

The rarely seen deep sea-dwelling creatures can grow to more than 50 feet.

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hikine wrote:
I wonder if the people who touched and held the fish got infected with the parasites!
on October 30,2013 | 03:45AM
mikethenovice wrote:
I hope they are blessed as to not be infected. Just innocent people.
on October 30,2013 | 06:02AM
mitt_grund wrote:
Hopefully, they were just intestinal. But had the same thought.
on October 30,2013 | 06:44AM
manakuke wrote:
Deep bugs!
on October 30,2013 | 06:22AM
hanoz808 wrote:
it looks scary....i wouldve freaked out seeing it in the water
on October 30,2013 | 07:41AM
Psyche wrote:
I would not rule out radiation poisoning.
on October 30,2013 | 09:33AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
I would imagine these parasites have something to do with their death. Similar to heartworms in dogs.
on October 30,2013 | 12:01PM
gobows wrote:
i hope nobody ate it sashmi style.
on October 30,2013 | 02:04PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Miniature Aliens?
on October 30,2013 | 10:22PM
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