‘It’s simply attractive’: uncommon deep-sea dragonfish noticed off California coast | California

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A uncommon deep-sea fish has been noticed off the coast of northern California, prompting pleasure amongst marine biologists who’ve tried to trace down the elusive creature for many years.

The Bathophilus flemingi, often known as the highfin dragonfish, was captured on video by a crew of researchers in Monterey Bay, California. Named after the legendary creature, the torpedo-shaped fish is a predator that roams the depths of the ocean.

The fish can develop as much as 16.5 cm in size and has lengthy skinny rays for fins. Scientists assume the wing-like filaments can detect vibrations and might alert the fish of oncoming predators and prey.

The dragonfish makes use of a sit-and-wait tactic by which it hangs immobile in midwater and waits for unsuspecting crustaceans and fish to feed on, in line with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Analysis Institute (MBARI). It additionally makes use of a bioluminescent filament that extends from its chin.

The video launched by MBARI exhibiting the highfin dragonfish

“It makes use of that to draw prey that see the spot of glowing mild and get drawn to it as a result of they assume it’s one thing sufficiently small that they will eat,” Bruce Robison, a senior scientist at MBARI instructed Stay Science.

Upon encountering its prey, the fish will open its jaws, revealing a set of sharp enamel, and snap its mouth shut.

“In additional than three many years of deep-sea analysis and greater than 27,600 hours of video, we’ve solely seen this specific species 4 occasions! We noticed this particular person simply exterior of Monterey Bay at a depth of about 300 meters (980 ft),” the researchers mentioned in a Youtube video caption of the dragonfish swimming.

The fish captured by researchers on digicam had a bronze hue not like that of another deep-sea species. “They’re simply wonderful animals, and half of what’s interesting is that coloration sample,” Robinson mentioned.

He added the bronze hue might possible be a sort of camouflage because it absorbs the blue mild that reaches the ocean’s depths. In consequence, the fish blends into its darkish setting and turns into almost invisible.

“However once we shine our white lights on it, it’s simply attractive,” Robinson mentioned.

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