Longest bony fish

Longest bony fish
Oarfish (Regalecus glesne)
Not Applicable
31 December 1885

The longest of the bony or "true" fishes (Pisces) is the oarfish (Regalecus glesne), also called the "King of the Herrings", which has a worldwide distribution. In c.1885, a 7.6-m-long (25-ft) example weighing 272 kg (600 lb) was caught by fishermen off Pemaquid Point in Maine, USA. Another oarfish, seen swimming off Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA, by a team of scientists from the Sandy Hook Marine Laboratory on 18 July 1963, was estimated to measure 15.2 m (50 ft) in length.

The specimen pictured here was found dead in the water off Toyon Bay, California, USA, on 13 Oct 2013 by staff of the Catalina Island Marine Institute; it measured 5.5 m (18 ft) long.

Bony fish (Osteichthyes) are distinct from cartilaginous fish (such as sharks and rays) and account for c.28,000 species across 435 families – the largest class of vertebrate animals. They have bone skeletons, unlike Chondrichthyes, which have cartilage.

Main image via Catalina Island Marine Institute