Three new fish species discovered over 4 miles below ocean’s surface

Christopher Davidson
September 14, 2018

The discoveries confirm a hunch the team had that if you look in any given deep ocean trench, there will be at least one new species of snailfish.

What researchers captured on camera were three new species of the "elusive" snailfish, living more than 21,000 feet beneath the surface, according to Newcastle University, which announced the findings Monday. They live more than 21,000 feet below the sea, as per Newcastle University. At a depth of more than 6 kilometers were down a specially prepared camera, able to function under the pressure of the water column. "Beyond the reach of other fish they are free of competitors and predators", he explained in an online statement. They seem to be quite active and look very well-fed.

Linley added, "Their gelatinous structure means they are perfectly adapted to living at extreme pressure". If liparis to bring to the surface, his body would be too fragile and literally melt due to high temperatures.

Joining an expedition to the Atacama Trench, the Newcastle University scientists helped uncover information about life in one of the deepest places on the planet.

On the study of the Peruvian-Chilean trench, a team of 40 researchers from 17 countries. All three species are snailfish and temporarily named the pink, the blue and the purple Atacama Snailfish.

Part of the Liparidae family, the fish are unusual in appearance compared to the typical idea of a deep-sea fish. The creatures are small, translucent, and have no scales.

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The worldwide team used two full-ocean depth (11,000 m) capable landers pioneered by Newcastle University. That specimen was preserved, is in "very good" condition and is being studied by a team that includes researchers from the Natural History Museum in London.

It is said that it is almost five miles deep in some of the areas of the Atacama Trench which is present off the coast of the Peru and Chile. Either 12 or 24 hours later, the team sends an acoustic signal down that releases weights so that flotation devices can bring the lander and its traps back. The researchers were able to catch one of the new species, which followed its prey into one of their traps.

Over 100 hours of video footage and 11,468 photographs were taken on the sea floor.

Along with these new snail fish, the crew also filmed rare footage of Munnopsids, which are small crustaceans with extremely long legs. "They flip from swimming backwards and upside down to walking mode, [which is] fascinating", Linley said.

The research will be discussed at the 2018 Challenger Conference which kicks off at the university this week.

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