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Saber-toothed whale washes up on Venice Beach

A rare saber-toothed whale washed up on Venice Beach, one of several unusual marine events recently in SoCal.
October 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The carcass of a rare saber-toothed whale washed up on the shores of Venice Beach, one of several unusual marine occurrences in the Southland recently.

The 15-foot female whale washed ashore on Tuesday. Scientists were very excited at the discovery, because this whale is rarely ever seen in the wild. Saber-toothed whales are believed to dive deep in sub-arctic waters to feed and are predominantly found off the coast of Alaska.

Also on Tuesday, a surfer spotted a great white shark in El Porto. The extremely close encounter was caught on the surfer's helmet camera.

"The thing turned and charged right at my surfboard, and I didn't know if it was going to jump up on the board, take a bite out of the board. He ended up coming straight at me and going under the board," described Mike Durand of El Segundo. "I was shaking like a leaf after that."

Female sharks give birth in Southern California, so sightings are not uncommon.

To top off this week of unusual sightings, an 18-foot oarfish was found off the coast of Catalina Island on Sunday. It took 15 adults to pull it up to the beach.

An instructor with the Catalina Island Marine Institute found the carcass while snorkeling in the waters of Toyon Bay. The body of the fish was almost perfectly intact and it appeared to have died naturally.

Biologists say the giant oarfish is the longest bony fish species, growing as long as 56 feet. They are also thought to be responsible for sea serpent sightings throughout history.


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