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Updated: 03/14/2014 08:06:12AM

Oarfish hosted parasites, giving scientists insight

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LOS ANGELES— Researchers have discovered that the massive oarfish hosts several types of parasites, revealing clues about the serpentlike fish’s habitat, the University of California, Santa Barbara, announced this week.

Parasitologists at the university obtained small tissue samples — gills, intestine, stomach, spleen and gallbladder — from the 18-foot creature that was found dead in shallow water just off Catalina Island on Oct. 13. They discovered larval tapeworms and pieces of a spiny-headed worm embedded in the intestine dissected at the university.

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