The expedition, onboard the Investigador, began on 30 September in an area of 740,000 square kilometers. cocos archipelago and 2,500 km from the west coast of Navidad, AustraliaAnd they did these studies over the course of 35 days of exploration.
“We’re really excited about the prospect of discover new speciesMaybe even new branches of the tree of life, hidden under the waves in this hitherto unknown region,” said Tim O’HaraBefore commencing exploration, MV’s chief curator of marine invertebrates.
The crew reported that they had collected A great ‘treasury’ of species After sampling the habitats with small trolls. O’Hara estimates that Up to a third of these species may be new to science: it potentially includes a new type. balm fish blind teethWith loose, sticky and transparent skin.
MV collection manager Diane Bray told ABC that “The eyes of these fish are really shriveled, like little golden pits in the skin. They have very loose, limp, gelatinous skin, and they are incredibly rare.”
Among the rarities, he also found a specimen of deep sea baitfish, This strange creature moves along the ocean floor by dragging its large “feet” on short, thick feathery legs.
“These are smaller relatives of anglerfish. They have a small lure that sits in a depression in their snout that they can actually move to attract prey and they essentially move with their modified hands and feet. Let’s go to the ground,” Bray explained.
Another interesting fish caught on a hook, and presented oddly extended wingsWith which it can easily swim just above sea level, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting prey below.
Teams also discovered hermit crab Using a deep-sea colonial zoothic coral, as a shell. These sticky soft corals incorporate pieces of sand or other material, which give them some structure, including crabs.
They also got the opportunity to study marine life at the surface level. researchers photographed flying fish Which, by their estimates, belong to at least six species, as explained by MV’s fish biologist, Yi-Kai Chai, who shared his impressions of the journey.
Once the ship is back on dry land, the sampled organisms will be studied by taxonomists, using DNA extracted from the animals to confirm their identities in different groups of animals or to describe new species. serve as an important source of information.
“The research results from this voyage will be invaluable to our understanding of Australia’s deep-sea environment and its impact on humans,” explained MV Executive Director Lynley Crosswell in an audiovisual.