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Rare deep-sea fish to be displayed at San Diego aquarium

LA JOLLA, Calif. — A rare deep-sea specimen is set to be on display at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, aquarium officials announced Tuesday.

Guests will be able to see the Pacific footballfish, which is one of only 31 known specimens collected worldwide, from March 25 to April 24.

“This is a very exciting discovery as scientists, let alone the public, rarely get a chance to interact with this species! Being the 31st ever collected, this is a rare find and not something you will likely see in an aquarium. Each specimen can teach us something new about footballfish and life in the deep-sea in general!”, said Ben Frable, collection manager of marine vertebrates at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

On Dec. 10, a deceased Pacific footballfish was found washed up at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas, north of San Elijo State Beach. It is one of the largest species of anglerfish.

“This specimen is female and about 15.5 inches long and weighs 5.5 pounds,” aquarium spokesperson Beth Chee said in a press release. “It would have lived at depths of 650 to 2,600 feet — a zone where sunlight barely penetrates and food is scarce.”

Due to its sensitivity to light, aquarium officials say the footballfish will only be on display for a limited time in the Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections at Birch Aquarium.

For ticket information, click here.