From the BBC:
Thursday, 14 October 2010 16:20 UK
Deep void yields new fish species
By Victoria Gill
Science and nature reporter, BBC News
Biologists have discovered a new species of fish in one of the world’s deepest ocean trenches, previously thought to be entirely devoid of fish.
The trench is more than 8,000m deep; the fish were found at 7,000m.
This is the fifth deep trench the team has investigated and they found it to harbour the greatest diversity of species of any they have explored.
Dr Alan Jamieson, the University of Aberdeen marine biologist who led the study, said that he and his team also captured images of a group of cusk-eels in what he described as a “feeding frenzy”.
“The eels were at 6,000m and we’ve never seen anything at that particular depth before,” he told the BBC.
“I’d put money on [the cusk-eels] being a new species too, but that’s difficult to confirm from a few photographs. We really need to bring a specimen to the surface.”
During a three-week expedition, the team used a lander containing a deep-sea camera. This took 6,000 images inside the trench, between 4,500m and 8,000m (15,000 – 26,000 feet).
As well as the snailfish and cusk-eels, the team also captured images of several crustaceans – scavengers that feed on the remains of larger animals.
See also here.
See also here.
Researchers from The University of Western Australia undertaking deepwater ocean trawls of the Peru-Chile trench off South America are believed to have discovered three new fish species: here.
Why do fish gills only work in water? Here.