‘It’s simply beautiful’: 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, also referred to as the highfin dragonfish, was captured on video by a workforce 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 may alert the fish of oncoming predators and prey.

The dragonfish makes use of a sit-and-wait tactic through which it hangs immobile in midwater and waits for unsuspecting crustaceans and fish to feed on, in keeping 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 displaying 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’ll eat,” Bruce Robison, a senior scientist at MBARI advised Dwell Science.

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

“In additional than three a long time of deep-sea analysis and greater than 27,600 hours of video, we’ve solely seen this specific species 4 instances! We noticed this particular person simply outdoors 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 shade sample,” Robinson mentioned.

He added the bronze hue may seemingly be a kind of camouflage because it absorbs the blue mild that reaches the ocean’s depths. Because of this, the fish blends into its darkish setting and turns into practically invisible.

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

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