New Species Discovered in the Ultra Deep

14 Septembre, 2018, 10:56 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Atacama snailfish. Credit Newcastle University

With a fish carcass to lure them out, the researchers were able to observe rare deep water creatures in their natural habitat, including three new species.

A massive worldwide team consisting of 40 scientists launched an expedition to one of the deepest places on Earth. For now, the fish are merely being referred to as the red, blue and red Atacama snailfish. Their appearance has little in common with stereotypical ideas about deep sea fish: they don't have big teeth and they look in General negrono.

"My interest is mainly the fish, so I am biased in thinking the new snailfish are awesome", study author Thomas Linley of Britain's Newcastle University told Newsweek. This fish is so squishy and soft that they would melt if brought to the surface.

Appearing active and "very well-fed", these snailfish are probably at the top of the local food chain-predator to other invertebrate prey.

The scientific team responsible for this expedition managed to film some of the snailfish, depositing on the bottom of the sea - in the form of a trap - the body of an amphipod in one of the traps.

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Snailfish are found at many different depths of oceans around the world, but the ones that exist in deep oceans are small, translucent and scaleless.

"Their gelatinous structure indicates that they are perfectly adapted to live under extreme pressure and, in fact, the hardest structures in their bodies are the bones in their inner ear - which give them balance - and their teeth". Indeed, sea creatures discovered in the deepest reaches of the ocean typically have distinctive characteristics that come with adapting to living under extreme pressure, in freezing temperatures and out of sunlight's reach. That specimen didn't survive the trip to the surface, but researchers have preserved its remains and, according the statement, it's in "very good condition" for study.

Dr Thomas Linley and Dr Alan Jamieson from Newcastle University led a team of 40 researchers from across 17 nations on the expedition to the Atacama Trench in the Pacific.

Located off the coasts of Peru and Chile, the 3,700-mile long (6,000 km) Atacama Trench bottoms out at 26,460 feet (8,065 metres). These creatures belong to an unidentified species of the Munnopsidae family and grow to be the size of an adult human hand.

These crustaceans have small bodies, extraordinarily long legs and swim backwards and upsides down, propelling themselves with paddles on their ventral side - their "tummies" - before righting themselves on the seafloor and spreading their long walking legs out like a spider. The snailfish discovery will be featured at the Challenger Conference 2018 at Newcastle University.

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