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Hey Kids! Squirt here with more updates from the cruise!
Look at this adult female anglerfish! This was an exciting find for the scientists because she is so large! These fish are normally around the size of a golf ball but this lady was a total of six inches! That's half the size of your ruler! While this may seem small for you and I, in comparison to other fish of the same species, it's actually a size record! The other interesting thing about this female anglerfish is that she has a male attached to her! If you look closely at the bottom left side of her body you can see the male. The male anglerfish of this species are parasitic on the females, meaning that they will bite the female and hold on. Eventually, the male's lips will become permanently attached, and is then sustained by the female and only used for reproductive purposes.
These anglerfish are also the only group of fishes that evolved two entirely different bioluminescence systems. The "beard" that hangs off the fishe's chin glows in the dark by light produce by the fish itself. The lure on her head is called symbiotic bioluminescence, meaning its light is produced by bacteria on the lure, not the fish itself. It is extremely rare to have both biolominescence systems!
Time to welcome back some fish we've met before! Say hello to the moonfish! These fish are usually found out at sea as juveniles. As adults they can be found closer to the shore.
Let's not forget to welcome the telescope fish! We've talked about them before in a previous blog post! You can find it here; http://www.outreach.deependconsortium.org/index.php/kids-blog/entry/glowing-water
This fish was trawled from between 1,200 and 1,500 meters in depth!
Until the next update! Thank you for following us on our journey through the deep!
Hello everyone, Squirt here to say that the DEEPEND scientists are back in the Gulf of Mexico! They started their fourth cruise on August 5th and they have some very exciting things to share. Let's take a look!
Here we have one of the brightest orange/red fish I've ever seen! The Velvet Whalefish (Barbourisia rufa) feeds on crustaceans! This whalefish was roughly five inches in length and was trawled from between 1,000 and 1,200m depth. That's at least three empire state building stacked on top of one another!
Here is a close up!
The DEEPEND scientists also pulled up a Lanternfish! Lanternfishes often have photophores all over their bodies that produce light. The formation of the photophores is believed to be important so they can recognize the same species in the dark. This species (Diaphus fragilis) has glowing spots on its jaw as well as along its body. It also has a large light producing organ on the front of its face, like a built in flashlight. These fishes may use these lights to find food in the dark depths. How cool is that?
I can't wait to see what else the DEEPEND scientists have to teach us!
Until next time!
Squirt here with another small update!
In this picture you can see all the scientists that were working on the cruise to identify all the things the MOCNESS brought up. It's a time consuming process that includes weighing, measuring, labeling, and taking DNA samples to prove they have been identified correctly! While a lot of the work is done on the ship and at sea, there just isn't enough time to finish all the work that has to be done. Many of the scientists will label and freeze their samples so that they can continue the work in their own labs!
Here is one of the fish that was taken back to the University Lab! This is a Bluntsnout Smooth-head, trawled from between the surface and 1500 meters deep! The red spots below his eye are true photophores (they produce light). The photophores are spread all over its body.
The scientists also pulled up this larval (baby) blind lobster!
Being a researcher is a lot of work! Even though the cruise just recently ended there is still a lot of work to be done to prepare for the next cruise! That's all for now! If you have a question, please leave it in the comments below!
Hi everyone! I'm still at sea and am having a great time. I met some new friends today that are just like me - FLAT!! You may know these guys as flounders. These flatfishes are really young and still have one eye on each side of their head. As they get bigger, one of their eyes will rotate to the other side before they settle on the seafloor. Since they live on the seafloor and bury themselves in the sand for camouflage, it is necessary for both of their eyes to be on one side of their head so that they can still see.
We have also collected many other types of fish that live really deep in the ocean where there is no light! The only light that exists there is made by the organisms that live there. This angler fish has a modified fin ray that has a bioluminescent light at the end of it which most people call a lure. They call it that because they think that the angler fish uses the light to lure in their prey. The other pictures show several other types of fish that we commonly collect.
Angler fish Ceratias uranoscopus
Dolicholagus longirostris, Chauliodus sloani, Sigmops elongatus | Sigmops elongatus (black/silver fish), Dysalotus alcocki
We have been very busy out here working around the clock to sample both day and night. I will post more pictures and give you an update tomorrow on our progress!
Hello everyone! Squirt here with more updates from the Gulf of Mexico!
Here we can see the the two blue propeller washes behind the ship. Look at how they glow! There are all kinds of life forms flashing and glowing in the water including jellyfish, shrimp, and siphonophores. Many of these life forms glow when they are touched or caught up in the sudden movement, like the current that was created by the ship's propellers. Pretty neat huh?
To think that the glowing blue water is actually made up of animals!
Speaking of fish that produce light and glow in the dark. Check out this Lampfish! This one has a row of electric blue scales along its dorsum! Also known as the back of the fish!
I have one more fish to introduce you to.
Meet the telescope fish! These guys use their incredible teeth to eat other fish! Their eyes are also especially adapted to locate other fish in the deep sea. In the top portions of the picture you can see the larval (baby) stages of this fish. Down at the bottom you can see the adult.
That's all for today, but if you have questions for any of the scientists, feel free to leave a comment!