Newcastle (dpa) – In one of the deepest regions of the Pacific Ocean, researchers have discovered three previously unknown species of deep-sea fish. The species belonging to the disk bellies (Lipanidae) were detected with an unmanned submarine in the Atacamagraben off the coast of Chile and Peru at a depth of 7500 meters.
On the basis of the color, the researchers speak for the time being of pink, blue and purple disc-bellies, as the English university of Newcastle announced Monday.
Compared to many other deep-sea fish, which are equipped with large eyes, long teeth or lighting organs, the newly discovered sea creatures look pretty unpleasant: the maximum 30 cm long slab tidbits are small, slimy and fairly transparent.
"Out of the reach of other fish, they are free from competitors and predators," explains deep-sea researcher Thomas Linley. "The video images clearly show that there are many invertebrate prey and that the bell bottoms are at the top of the food chain, they seem pretty active and look well fed."
The hardest structures in the body of slimy fish are therefore the teeth and bones of the inner ear. The researchers were able to catch a fish in a trap and bring it to the surface.
In total, 40 scientists from 17 countries traveled the expedition over the water to more than 8000 meters deep Atacama gorges. Along the 6,000 km long ditch they smashed dozens of their submarines, equipped with camera's, to the bottom of the sea.