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The swordfish displayed in the OZEANEUM washed ashore on a beach on the Baltic coast in 2008.

Ozeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum

Ozeaneum, Foundation German Oceanographic Museum
Stralsund, Germany

The fish in the glass

Another accidental migrant. The German Oceanographic Museum has acquired a significant number of exhibit and collection specimens due to tragic error. This is also true of the swordfish, which was found on the Baltic Sea beach of Zingst on July 16, 2008; the swordfish is not a natural inhabitant of the Baltic Sea. Perhaps it inadvertently prowled its way to the inland sea or swam astray for other reasons, but the ocean predator never stood a chance of survival.

The well-preserved animal was found near Zingst near a work site on the dunes in the Western Pomeranian lagoon area forming part of a national park. It was then handed over to the staff of the German Oceanographic Museum. The adult swordfish was 2.3 meters long in total, with a height of 62 centimeters, including its dorsal fin.

This unusually rare specimen whose elongated, bony maxilla can account for around one-third of its body length is one of the stars of the new exhibition at the OZEANEUM about the Exploration and Exploitation of the Seas. Visitors can admire this swift and dangerous hunter and its weapon of choice in a glass tank. The fish is capable of seriously injuring or even killing its prey – large and small schooling fish or squid – with a side swipe from its “sword”.

Details

  • Title: The swordfish displayed in the OZEANEUM washed ashore on a beach on the Baltic coast in 2008.
  • Location: Ozeaneum Stralsund, Stiftung Deutsches Meeresmuseum
  • Rights: photo: Johannes-Maria Schlorke

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