Sharks at active underwater volcano


This video says about itself:

8 July 2015

Ocean engineer and National Geographic Explorer Brennan Phillips and his team surveyed underwater volcano Kavachi, located near the Solomon Islands. They encountered a surprising amount of sea life, including the rarely filmed Pacific sleeper shark. Phillips believes the high-definition images of this elusive shark represent only the third—and maybe the best—video of the shark ever made.

Click here to read more about this rare discovery.

From Wildlife Extra about this:

Sharks Found Inside An Active Volcano… Alive

Kavachi is one of the most active underwater volcanoes in the southwest Pacific Ocean. It’s surrounded by hot, acidic seawater that can make it too dangerous for human divers — and that’s when it’s not erupting explosively.

But when a team of scientists recently sent down camera-equipped robots, they not only found animals surviving in and around the volcano; they found a surprising amount of biodiversity, including silky sharks, hammerhead sharks and the rarely seen Pacific sleeper shark, which had previously been caught on video just twice.

The sharkcano is located south of Vangunu in the Solomon Islands, where researchers funded by the National Geographic Society recently embarked on a risky trip to explore Kavachi. The volcano is very active, having experienced a minor eruption in 2014 as well as more explosive outbursts in 2007 and 2004.

“Nobody actually knows how often Kavachi erupts,” team member Brennan Phillips tells National Geographic. And even when it’s not launching lava, ash and steam above the surface, he adds, it can be too extreme for divers to explore. “Divers who have gotten close to the outer edge of the volcano have had to back away because of how hot it is or because they were getting mild skin burns from the acid water.”

To avoid that risk, Phillips and his colleagues sent down submersible robots with underwater cameras to explore Kavachi’s inhospitable environment. Despite the extreme conditions, the robots spotted a variety of wildlife living around Kavachi, including jellyfish, crabs, stingrays and the aforementioned sharks.

On top of the volcano-dwelling silky and hammerhead sharks, the team was also psyched to see a Pacific sleeper shark swimming near Kavachi. These enigmatic fish are normally found in the North Atlantic, the North Pacific and around Antarctica, but they’ve never been seen near the Solomon Islands before. Phillips says this is only the third time the species has been caught on video anywhere, and his HD footage may represent the highest-quality glimpse in history. Watch the footage above.

Another year of science closes, giving us pause to review those new species of sharks described in the scientific literature, bringing the total number of known shark species to 512. Perhaps it’s a hollow victory to have so many different species known at a time when sharks populations worldwide are either in decline or in a complete population tailspin. But as taxonomists continue to kick ass and give names, our knowledge of shark evolution, biogeography, and ecology continue to get richer. Meet the new sharks of 2015: here.

2 thoughts on “Sharks at active underwater volcano

  1. Pingback: Save sharks and rays, new initiative | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Sharks’ social networks, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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