University of Aberdeen
Scientists at the University of Aberdeen have set a new record for observations of the world's deepest fish, shown here at left.
Nearly 180 species of fish that glow have been identified in a new study led by scientists from theAmerican Museum of Natural History
. The study, published in Thursday'sPLOS ONE
, shows how the fish absorb light and eject it as a different color for varied reasons including communicating and mating. Above, a biofluorescent surgeonfish (
©AMNH/J. Sparks, D. Gruber, and V. Pieribone
A green biofluorescent chain catshark (
A red fluorescing scorpionfish (
) perched on red fluorescing algae at night in the Solomon Islands.
©AMNH/J. Sparks and D. Gruber
A triplefin blennie (
.) under white light (above) and blue light (below).
Deep in the heart of the Mariana Trench, scientists from the University of Aberdeen have set a record with their video footage of a fish swimming on the floor of the great undersea chasm, more than 5 miles down.
During a detailed study of the trench by the university's Oceanlab field research unit, scientists caught footage of a type of snailfish cruising the floor at a depth of 26,722 feet (8,145 meters). It's the greatest depth at which a fish has ever been seen, the team notes, topping its own prior record (also of a snailfish) by almost 500 meters.
The snailfish the team observed gave them pause. "This really deep fish did not look like anything we had seen before, nor does it look like anything we know of," said Dr. Alan Jamieson from the University of Aberdeen, in a statement. "It is unbelievably fragile, with large wing-like fins and a head resembling a cartoon dog."
The snailfish with the deep-sea lifestyle can be seen toward the end of the video above. Also making an appearance in the footage was another exciting observation from the Oceanlab team: the rare "supergiant" amphipod, a huge crustacean that was first discovered off New Zealand in 2012.
"Knowing these creatures exist is one thing," said Jamieson of the supergiants, "but to watch them alive in their natural habitat and interacting with other species is truly amazing, we have learned a great deal."