Dissections of a pair of oarfish found along the Southern California coast this month have found that one was overrun by parasitic worms and the other was about to have babies. "Our findings say that these are actually majorly parasitized fish. In this little piece of intestine that we had, we found quite a few of these rather large larval tapeworms. One of them was about 15 centimeters [6 inches] long," said University of California at Santa Barbara zoology professor Armand Kuris of the larger oarfish, which was found by a snorkeler near Catalina Island and showed evidence of parasites. Meanwhile, researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography said they found hundreds of thousands of eggs in the ovaries of the second oarfish.

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