posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 08:19 AM
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Scalloped ribbonfish, Zu cristatus
See text for genera and species.
The ribbonfish are a family, Trachipteridae, of marine fish. These pelagic fish are named for their slim, ribbon-like appearance. They are rarely seen
alive as they typically live in deep waters (though are not bottom feeders).
They are readily recognized by their anatomy: a long, compressed, tape-like body, short head, narrow mouth and feeble teeth. A high dorsal fin
occupies the whole length of the back; an anal fin is absent, and the caudal fin, if present, consists of two fascicles of rays of which the upper is
prolonged and directed upwards. The pectoral fins are small, the pelvic fins composed of several rays, or of one long ray only. Ribbon fish possess
all the characteristics of fish living at very great depths. Their fins especially, and the membrane connecting them, are of a very delicate and
brittle structure. In young ribbonfish some of the fin-rays are prolonged in an extraordinary degree, and sometimes provided with appendages.
Specimens have been taken in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, at Mauritius and in the Pacific. The species from the Atlantic has occurred chiefly on
the northern coasts, Iceland, Scandinavia, Orkneys and Scotland. The north Atlantic species known in English the dealfish; its Icelandic name is
"vagmaer". Its length is 5 to 8 feet (1.5–2.5 m). Specimens seem usually to be driven to the shore by gales in winter, and are sometimes left by
the tide. S. Nilsson, however, in Scandinavia observed a living specimen in two or three fathoms (4–5 m) of water moving something like a flatfish
with one side turned obliquely upwards. A specimen of Trachipterus ishikawae was discovered on a beach in Kenting, Taiwan in November 2007, alive but
with a 10-cm cut wound to its side, and was returned to deeper water.
Trachipterus ishikawae are commonly called "earthquake fish" in Taiwan, and are popularly believed to appear following major earthquake events due
to sensitivity to disturbances in the ocean floor. There are records of such appearances following a 100-year earthquake in Hengchun in late 2006 and
in Taid ong in 2007, but other recorded sightings do not correspond with seismic disturbances.
Just my opinion