Friday, July 16, 2010

Piranha alike and other unique deep-sea fish discovered at 1,500 metres under the sea!

these amazing pictures of creatures of the deep sea have been captured by scientists working at record low underwater levels underneath the Great Barrier Reef.

Experts from the University of Queensland's brain institute in Australia used high-tech cameras to glimpse at life almost 1,500 metres under the sea.

Marine biologist Justin Marshall, who led the team, said prehistoric six-gilled sharks, giant oil fish and swarms of crustaceans were among the species captured on camera.

But they also filmed and took photos of many unidentified fish at the site of Osprey Reef, 220 miles North-East of Cairns, in Australia.

Professor Marshall said:
 'We simply do not know what life is down there and our cameras can now record the behaviour and life in Australia's largest biosphere, the deep-sea.'

The team of scientists captured the sea creatures using special low-light sensitive, custom designed remote controlled cameras, which sat on the sea floor.

They spent 10 days filming in the deep-sea last month and say the findings could be useful for researchers working in other scientific fields.

All the sea creatures live in a dark world where the pressure is 140 times greater than on land, but are well adapted to their environment.

Professor Marshall said: 'They are slow moving, efficient swimmers because they exist in a world where food is sparse and they need to conserve energy.

'Some of these animals that live in the deep ocean only feed once or twice a year. It's not like you've got salmon rushing about or tuna flying past at high speed.'

Many species had also evolved to produce their own light because sunlight fails to penetrate more than 800 metres beneath the sea surface.

They produce light similar to a firefly and use it as a defence mechanism, to communicate and to see.

Professor Marshall said it would be years before scientists would be able to say if any of the creatures captured on film were new species.

He said: 'There will certainly be animals there that we didn't know were there, but whether there will be any new species for science, I'm not sure yet.

'But it is very often the case with these kinds of expeditions that you do find new life.'

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