(ORDO NEWS) — A unique inhabitant of the water depths is not very common for scientists. This time it was found off the coast of California.
Marine biologists aboard an expedition in California’s Monterey Bay recently spotted a brilliant and rare deep-sea fish named after the mythical creature. Dragon fish (Bathophilus flemingi) is a real curiosity; previously, scientists have seen living individuals only a few times. Writes about it Live Science.
For three decades, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have been using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to explore the depths of the bay, finding many amazing creatures, including several species of dragonfish.
However, the high-finned dragonfish proved to be the most elusive. And yet it still managed to be found at a depth of 300 meters.
Dragonfish scales shimmer with a copper-bronze hue. This color serves as camouflage, as the shade absorbs the rest of the blue light penetrating to the depth and makes the fish almost invisible in the environment. But if you illuminate it with white light, you will see a magnificent picture:
The dragonfish has a bioluminescent filament extending from its chin. “She uses this lure to attract prey that sees the glowing spot and swims towards it, because it thinks it is something small enough to be eaten,” the scientists say. When the prey gets close enough, the dragonfish’s wide, toothy jaws bite into it.
Dragonfish use bioluminescence not only to catch small fish, but also to avoid being eaten. “Many predators hunt by looking up and trying to make out the silhouette or shadows of their prey against the light of the water above,” the researchers explain.
To blend in with the bright background, the dragonfish has a series of luminous organs lining both of its sides. These light organs match the color and intensity of the light coming from above and blur the silhouette of the fish from the field of vision of a large predator.”
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