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Lost, Exotic Sea Creature Washes Ashore In Malibu

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The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum took possession this week of a rare, ribbon-like, serpentine fish typically found in deep, tropical waters, that floundered near the shore in Malibu and died.

The first person on the scene to identify the 12-foot-long oarfish was an 8-year-old boy who studied the bony, silvery-scaled sea creature in school.

"The fact that it was close to shore at all is unusual," said Cynthia Reyes, director of the California Wildlife Center, reports the LA Times.

The Malibu-based center took tissue samples before handing over the animal to the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum where it will join a small oarfish collection that includes a 14-foot specimen recovered from Santa Catalina Island in 2006.