Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Deepest-living fishes caught on camera for the first time

08.10.2008
Scientists filming in one of the world’s deepest ocean trenches have found groups of highly sociable snailfish swarming over their bait, nearly five miles (7700 metres) beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean. This is the first time cameras have been sent to this depth.

‘We got some absolutely amazing footage from 7700 metres. More fish than we or anyone in the world would ever have thought possible at these depths,’ says project leader Dr Alan Jamieson of the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab, on board the Japanese research ship the Hakuho-Maru.

‘It’s incredible. These videos vastly exceed all our expectations from this research. We thought the deepest fishes would be motionless, solitary, fragile individuals eking out an existence in a food-sparse environment,’ says Professor Monty Priede, director of Oceanlab.

‘But these fish aren’t loners. The images show groups that are sociable and active – possibly even families – feeding on little shrimp, yet living in one of the most extreme environments on Earth.’

‘All we’ve seen before of life at this depth have been shrivelled specimens in museums. Now we have an impression of how they move and what they do. Having seen them moving so fast, snailfish seems a complete misnomer,’ he added.

Although some species of snailfish live in shallow water and even rock pools, the hadal snailfish are found exclusively below 6000 metres. Here they have to contend with total darkness, near freezing temperatures and immense water pressure – at this depth the pressure is 8,000 tonnes per square metre, equivalent to that of 1600 elephants standing on the roof of a Mini car. They feed on the thousands of tiny shrimp-like creatures that scavenge the carcasses of dead fish and detritus reaching the ocean floor.

Hadal snailfish live only in trenches around the Pacific Ocean, with different species confined to each region: the Chile and Peru trenches off South America, the Kermadec and Tonga trenches situated between Samoa and New Zealand in the South Pacific, and trenches of the North-West Pacific including the Japan trench, which Priede’s team is currently investigating.

The work is part of Oceanlab’s HADEEP project – a collaborative research programme with the University of Tokyo – devised by Priede to investigate life in the hadal region of the ocean, which is anything below 6000 metres down. The expedition, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Nippon Foundation in Japan, started on 24 September and ended yesterday, 6 October.

The deep-sea equipment needed to survive the extreme pressure at these depths was designed and built by the Oceanlab team specifically for this mission. The submersible camera platforms, or ‘landers’, take five hours to reach the depths of the trenches and remain on the seafloor for two days before the signal is given for them to surface.

The team has been keeping an expedition blog, exclusive to Planet Earth online www.planetearth.nerc.ac.uk, a daily news site from the Natural Environment Research Council. The magazine website, which was launched last week, includes video footage and photographs of the expedition as well as blogs, podcasts, features and news.

Marion O'Sullivan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nerc.ac.uk
http://www.planetearth.nerc.ac.uk
http://www.nerc.ac.uk/press/features/2008/hadeep.asp

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

nachricht From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>