A rare deep-sea fish was spotted off the northern coast Californiasparking excitement among marine biologists who have tried to track down the elusive creature for decades.
The Pathophilus flemingi fish, also known as the high-finned dragon fish, was captured on video by a team of researchers in Monterey Bay, California. Named after the mythical creature, the torpedo-shaped fish is a predator that roams the depths of the ocean.
The fish can be up to 16.5 cm in length and has a long, thin ray of fins. Scientists believe that the wing-like filaments can detect vibrations and alert fish of oncoming predators and prey.
According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), dragonfish use a sit-and-wait technique where they are suspended motionless in central waters and wait for unsuspecting crustaceans and fish to feed on. He also uses a bioluminescent thread extending from his chin.
“This is used to lure prey that sees the spot of glowing light and is attracted to it because they think it is something small enough that they can eat,” said Bruce Robson, one of MBARI’s lead scientists. Tell Live Science.
When confronted with its prey, the fish opens its jaw, exposing a set of sharp teeth, and closes its mouth.
“In more than three decades of deep-sea research and more than 27,600 hours of video, we’ve only seen this particular species four times!” the researchers said in a YouTube video. Caption of a swimming dragon fish.
The fish captured by researchers with a camera has a bronze color that is different from any other species of deep sea. “They are just amazing animals, and part of the appeal is this color scheme,” Robinson said.
He added that the bronze color is likely to be a form of camouflage because it absorbs blue light that reaches the depths of the ocean. As a result, the fish merge into their dark environment and become almost invisible.
“But when we shine the white lights on it, it’s cool,” Robinson She said.
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