Friday 7 April 2023

Unknown Snailfish sighted 8336 m beneath the surface is the deepest Fish ever recorded.

A team of Japanese and Australian scientists exploring the Izu-Ogasawara Trench, south of Japan, by Remote Operated Vehicle, has spotted an unknown species of Snailfish, Pseudoliparis sp., living at a depth of 8336 m, making it the deepest Fish ever recorded. This exceeds the previous record by 158 m, another Snailfish caught in a trap within the Japan Trench in 2017. A few days later the same team was able to trap two species of Belyaev's Snailfish, Pseudoliparis belyaevi, at a depth of 8022 m. Belyaev's Snailfish is an exclusively deep water species, having never been encountered at depths shallower than 7703 m.

Unknown Snailfish, Pseudoliparis sp., sighted at a depth of 8336 m in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench, south of Japan. University of Western Australia.

The team, led by Alan Jamieson of the University of Western Australia, have been exploring the Izu-Ogasawara and Japan trenches for 15 years, finding a surprising number of Fish at depths in excess of 8000 m. Previous exploration of the mush deeper Mariana Trench has found very few Fish at these depths. The majority of these Fish are Snailfish, a group uniquely suited to surviving at such great depths. Snailfish lack swim-bladders and scales, have a very lightly calcified skeleton, and protect themselves with a layer of mucus, which gives them their name. Living at these depths they have very few natural predators, although food is also very scarce, largely comprising of carrion which has sunk from higher in the water column.

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