Research

New Snailfish Species Found in Deep Pacific Ocean

New Snailfish Species Found in Deep Pacific Ocean

Researchers have produced a large amount of information about deepwater species and, among other things, was able to take pictures of the fish three alleged new species. They are one of the last great frontiers in marine science and also Earth's deepest places.

These new species have been named as pink, purple and blue for the time being. The fish were discovered in the Atacama Trench, which is located about seven miles below the surface in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru and Chile.

These fish belong to the Liparidae family and do not obey to the biased prosaic image of what deep sea fish should resemble. For instance, instead of giant teeth and a menacing frame, these snailfish are small, translucent, bereft of scales.

One of the researchers, Dr Thomas Linley from Newcastle University, said that the snailfish family is particularly suited to living in the dark depths of the ocean.

"As the video clearly shows, on the seabed, there are many invertebrate prey and the snailfish are the main predators; They seem to be quite active and they look very well fed, "says Thomas Linley".

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The team was able to capture one specimen and bring it to the surface. In addition to being "surprisingly active" as Linley put it, the snailfish are just plain weird, bereft of scales with beady little eyes and gelatinous bodies held together by the enormous pressure of the water.

Linley added, "Their gelatinous structure means they are perfectly adapted to living at extreme pressure".

Part of the Liparidae family, these snailfish look distinct from other deep sea creatures, albeit they're no less unusual. Without the pressure of the water and the chill of the deep ocean, they appear to melt on reaching the surface. Scientists filmed the fish in their natural environment as part of an global expedition to remotely explore the Atacama Trench, off the coast of Peru, and the discovery will be presented at the ongoing Challenger Conference at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. The team set out to investigate the area with the German research vessel Sonne, and used a baited camera system to search the Atacama abyssal and hadal zones, Newcastle University noted in the video description. To crawl across the sea floor, long-legged isopods start off by swimming backwards and upside-down.

The snailfish will be featured as part of the Challenger Conference 2018 which kicks off at Newcastle University from today and runs until Friday. In fact, Linley calls them a top predator where they're found.

They propel themselves with paddles on their their "tummies" - before righting themselves on the seafloor and spreading their long walking legs out like a spider.


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