World’s deepest deep sea fish discovered


This 28 November 2017 video is called New fish species lives 5 miles underwater—a record.

From the University of Washington in the USA:

There’s a deeper fish in the sea

November 28, 2017

The ocean’s deepest fish doesn’t look like it could survive in harsh conditions thousands of feet below the surface. Instead of giant teeth and a menacing frame, the fishes that roam in the deepest parts of the ocean are small, translucent, bereft of scales — and highly adept at living where few other organisms can.

Meet the deepest fish in the ocean, a new species named the Mariana snailfish by an international team of researchers that discovered it. The Mariana snailfish (Pseudoliparis swirei) thrives at depths of up to about 8,000 meters (26,200 feet) along the Mariana Trench near Guam. The team published a paper describing the new species this week in the journal Zootaxa.

“This is the deepest fish that’s been collected from the ocean floor, and we’re very excited to have an official name,” said lead author Mackenzie Gerringer, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories. “They don’t look very robust or strong for living in such an extreme environment, but they are extremely successful.”

Snailfish are found at many different depths in marine waters around the world, including off the coast of San Juan Island, where Gerringer is continuing research on the family of fish. In deep water, they cluster together in groups and feed on tiny crustaceans and shrimp using suction from their mouths to gulp prey. Little is known about how these fish can live under intense water pressure; the pressure at those depths is similar to an elephant standing on your thumb.

This new species appears to dominate parts of the Mariana Trench, the deepest stretch of ocean in the world that is located in the western Pacific Ocean. During research trips in 2014 and 2017, scientists collected 37 specimens of the new species from depths of about 6,900 meters (22,600 feet) to 8,000 meters (26,200 feet) along the trench. DNA analysis and 3-D scanning to analyze skeletal and tissue structures helped researchers determine they had found a new species.

Since then, a research team from Japan has recorded footage of the fish swimming at depths of 8,134 meters (26,686 feet), the deepest sighting so far.

“Snailfishes have adapted to go deeper than other fish and can live in the deep trenches. Here they are free of predators, and the funnel shape of the trench means there’s much more food,” said co-author Thomas Linley of Newcastle University. “There are lots of invertebrate prey and the snailfish are the top predator. They are active and look very well-fed.”

A handful of researchers have explored the Mariana Trench, but few comprehensive surveys of the trench and its inhabitants have been completed because of its depth and location, Gerringer explained. These research trips, conducted while Gerringer completed her doctorate at University of Hawai’i at M?noa, involved dropping traps with cameras down to the bottom of the trench. It can take four hours for a trap to sink to the bottom.

After waiting an additional 12 to 24 hours, the researchers sent an acoustic signal to the trap, which then released weights and rose to the surface with the help of flotation. That allowed scientists to catch fish specimens and take video footage of life at the bottom of the ocean.

“There are a lot of surprises waiting,” Gerringer said. “It’s amazing to see what lives there. We think of it as a harsh environment because it’s extreme for us, but there’s a whole group of organisms that are very happy down there.”

Footage from the 2014 research cruise on R/V Falkor will also run in the BBC’s “Blue Planet II” series, which is now airing in the U.K. The research team also filmed another new species on this cruise, the ethereal snailfish, living at great depths in the Mariana Trench. The Mariana snailfish’s location was its most distinguishing characteristic, but researchers also saw a number of differences in physiology and body structure that made it clear they had found a new species. With the help of a CT scanner at the UW’s Friday Harbor Laboratories, the researchers could look in close digital detail to study elements of the fish.

The authors acknowledge the broad collaboration needed for deep-sea science, particularly in this discovery, and decided the new fish’s scientific name should reflect that collaborative effort. The fish is named after a sailor, Herbert Swire, an officer on the HMS Challenger expedition in the late 1800s that first discovered the Mariana Trench.

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Mangrove forest wildlife


This video says about itself:

20 October 2017

Where the tropical ocean meets the sea, a peculiar kind of plant thrives in shallow, salty water. These mangrove plants are incredibly important for shoreline protection and baby fish habitats. Jonathan investigates life in mangroves by visiting both Caribbean and Pacific mangroves.

Wolffish, wolf eel video


This video says about itself:

21 April 2017

They have big, sharp teeth, long eel-like bodies, and they look like they could bite your fingers right off—but Jonathan can pet them. They’re Wolffish, and Jonathan visits both Atlantic and Pacific species. You won’t believe the amazing encounters he has with these friendly but mean-looking fish.

Sea otter tool use, new research


This video from the USA says about itself:

26 May 2016

An abalone can be pretty hard to pry off a rock. Just ask a sea otter! But if there’s a handy stone nearby? Good luck abalone!

See how our researchers study the way sea otters use tools: here.

An otter fuels its fast metabolism by eating up to a quarter of its weight in food a day. (A 150-pound person would have to eat 35 to 40 pounds of food a day to match that!)

A sea otter may hunt on the seafloor, but always returns to the surface to eat. Floating there on its back, it uses its chest as a table. (And if dinner’s a crab or clam, the otter may use a rock to crack open its prey.)

An otter’s coat has pockets—pouches of loose skin under each forearm. An otter uses them to stash prey during a dive, which leaves its paws free to hunt some more.

From Science News:

Tool use in sea otters doesn’t run in the family

by Helen Thompson

8:44pm, March 21, 2017

Aside from being adorable, sea otters and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins share an ecological feat: Both species use tools. Otters crack open snails with rocks, and dolphins carry cone-shaped sponges to protect their snouts while scavenging for rock dwelling fish.

Researchers have linked tool use in dolphins to a set of differences in mitochondrial DNA — which passes from mother to offspring — suggesting that tool-use behavior may be inherited. Biologist Katherine Ralls of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and her colleagues looked for a similar pattern in otters off the California coast. The team tracked diet (primarily abalone, crab, mussels, clams, urchins or snails) and tool use in the wild and analyzed DNA from 197 individual otters.

Otters that ate lots of hard-shelled snails — and used tools most frequently — rarely shared a common pattern in mitochondrial DNA, nor were they more closely related to other tool-users than any other otter in the population.

Unlike dolphins, sea otters may all be predisposed to using tools because their ancestors probably lived off mollusks, which required cracking open. However, modern otters only take up tools when their diet requires them, the researchers report March 21 in Biology Letters.

Pacific sharks on video


This video says about itself:

Thousands Of Sharks Visit A Sea Mount – Blue Planet – BBC Earth

27 January 2017

In the Pacific, a tiny island 300 miles away from the shore hides a giant mountain beneath the waves that forms a home for thousands of plankton feeding fish. These fish attract tuna, and the tuna attract thousands of sharks. Watch this video to learn more about this fascinating food chain, and hear some weird but true facts about the visiting hammerhead sharks..

Taken From Blue Planet Series 1.

Giant Pacific octopus video


This video from the USA says about itself:

6 January 2017

In this epic adventure taking place on two coasts, Jonathan investigates the world’s largest octopus, the Giant Pacific Octopus! He begins by meeting Sy, one of the octopuses at the New England Aquarium in Boston with cold water aquarist Bill Murphy.

Then Jonathan and Bill travel to the Seattle Aquarium to two of their octopuses Lucy and Odie with Seattle Aquarium aquarist Kathryn Kegel. Bill and Jonathan join Kathryn and her team on some dives in Puget Sound to survey wild octopus populations. Along the way, Jonathan witnesses an incredible octopus fight and gets a small glimpse into the social lives of the Giant Pacific Octopus!

Spawning mandarinfish video


This video says about itself:

16 December 2016

Even experienced divers rarely get to see the Mandarinfish, a colorful reef fish that is so shy, it only comes out of hiding for a half-hour a day. Jonathan travels to the south Pacific to film spawning Mandarinfish and witnesses an incredible secret ritual.