The deaths of two giant oarfish that washed up off California within the span of a week may have been caused by an ocean current that the weak-swimming creatures could not overcome, a scientist said.
Experts, however, stressed that they have not pinpointed a cause of death.
"With a rare event like this, it is a bit troubling, but it's a total mystery," Vetter said.
The tissue will be divided and sent to research specialists around the world, who will look for clues about the creature and its habitat — its eyes, gills, heart and liver will be studied, its DNA will be sequenced for insight about the fish's evolution and its ear bones will be examined to determine age.
The fish's tissue will be tested for toxins, and data that could indicate low oxygen levels in the water will be examined as they become available, Vetter said.
Results from the research could take years to complete, scientists said.
"People from all around the world are desperate for a piece of tissue," Vetter said.