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Swordfish dissected at the Biological museum

The swordfish that was found dead in Falsterbo Channel in Skåne Tuesday last week has been dissected at the Biological museum at Lund University. No stomach content was found and the suspicion is that the swordfish starved to death.
The swordfish.
The swordfish has been dissected at the Biological museum in Lund. Photo: Biological museum

Maria Mostadius, curator at the Biological museum at Gastelyckan in Lund, informs that the last time findings from a swordfish were sent to the museum was 30 years ago, in 1987.

”When I heard about this I contacted the municipality in Vellinge and said that we want to examine the fish. We got it Thursday morning and my colleague and I have dissected it. I expected to find something that could tell us the cause of death, but the stomach was empty. I suspect it died from starvation.”

Biopsy samples have been taken from the swordfish and the tissue will be kept in a freezer at the Biological museum for possible future tests and research. The skeleton is also kept frozen at the museum, but the rest of the fish will be sent to a destruction plant.

The swordfish skeleton.
The skeleton is available to researchers. Later this year it will be cleaned. Photo: Biological museum

Maria Mostadius says that the swordfish had started to crack when it arrived at the museum. It smelled when she and her colleague dissected it. It probably had been dead, floating in the sea for a couple of days before it was found.

”When we got it it had a rope around its tail fin. It looked as if someone had tried to lift it out from the water but not succeeded,” she says.

Jan Olsson

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