Scaleless fish species found deep in Pacific
A group of scientists say they have discovered three species of fish lurking in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
The fish – temporarily named the pink, blue and purple Atacama snailfish – were found in the Atacama Trench, an 8,000-meter deep trench off the west coast of South America, according to researchers from Newcastle University.
The species of snailfish are small, translucent and have no scales. Their bodies are built to handle the extreme pressure found in the deepest parts of the ocean, scientists said.
Thomas Linley of Newcastle University said the fish’s hardest bones are ones in their inner ear to help them maintain balance – and their teeth.
“Without the extreme pressure and cold to support their bodies they are extremely fragile and melt rapidly when brought to the surface,” Linley said in a statement.
Researchers also captured footage of munnopsids, long-legged crustaceans that are about the size of an adult hand. The creatures can swim backward and upside down, have long legs like a spider and paddles to help them swim. The creatures use a flip move to transition between swimming and walking, scientists said.
To catch the fish and collect video, researchers used landers capable of reaching depths as far as 11,000 meters equipped with HD cameras.
Atacama snailfish live in extreme depths.