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Rare Sightings of Ragfish Off Alaska Coast Concern Biologists

Two rare sightings of the elusive Ragfish were seen within 6 months of each other for the first time in over 40 years off the coast of Alaska in Glacier Bay.

The most recent sighting was a dead female Ragfish full of eggs and almost 7 feet long. Biologists are baffled by the discovery as Ragfish are not usually seen dead and washed ashore. (See Video Below)

Last summer, the first was found in the same area and was also a female measuring 78 inches long.

The ragfish, Icosteus aenigmaticus, is a ray-finned fish of the northern Pacific Ocean; although a perciform, its skeleton is mostly cartilage, and the larvae have pelvic fins that disappear as they mature. It is the sole member of the family Icosteidae, and some authorities place it into its own order Icosteiformes.

The ragfish body is scaleless and limp, because of its cartilaginous skeleton and its flabby muscles. None of the fins have any spines. The dorsal and anal fins extend much of the length of the body, while the pelvic fins are absent. The coloration is generally a dark brown, and maximum known length is 2 m.

Ragfishes are found on the bottom from near the surface in the case of juveniles to 732 m (2,402 ft), occasionally down to 1,420 m (4,660 ft), for the adults. They are said to eat jellyfishes, other fish, squid, and octopus,although recent catches show no squid beaks but large numbers of jellyfish. Ragfish are rarely seen and little is known about them.


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About Cynthia Schnepp (899 Articles)
YouTube Personality 'ShantiUniverse', Chief Editor & Columnist of From San Antonio Texas has lived in New York, England, and Las Vegas.