A new species of snailfish has recently been discovered in the Mariana Trench and has been found to possess distinctive features. But what makes it unique and attention-catching is the fact that this species is actually the world’s deepest fish!
Living at a remarkable depth of 8,000 meters or about 26,200 feet, this tiny Mariana snailfish known as Pseudoliparis swirei has surprised biologists because of its ability to survive and at the same time flourish despite the crushing pressure down below the Mariana Trench.
This species of fish was actually first seen back in 2014 and now has been found once again in one of the most unlikeliest of places in the world, our deepest trench.
And not only this, but the fish also has a variety of strange yet unique features, looking somewhat like a weird-looking tadpole when seen out of water. But once it gets swimming in its natural habitat, it appears as a glowing creature drifting along the seafloor. It seems that their peculiar morphology may have come about due to the intense pressures down below.
Image Source: www.novataxa.blogspot.com
Some of its other features include a soft flesh that’s pink-white colour, an underlying skeleton, a lack of scales, a huge head and giant teeth. This fish is also so translucent that its liver can be seen through its skin!
According to the co-author of this incredible published finding, Thomas Linley from Newcastle University, “Snailfishes have adapted to go deeper than other fish and can live in the deep trenches. Here they are free of predators, and the funnel shape of the trench means there’s much more food.”
Newcastle also adds that, “There are lots of invertebrate prey and the snailfish are the top predator. They are active and look very well-fed.”