By Hilary Duncanson
Friday, 15 October 2010
A new species has been discovered in a part of the ocean previously thought to be entirely free of fish, scientists said yesterday.
Mass groupings of cusk-eels and large crustacean scavengers were also discovered living at these depths for the first time, scientists said. The findings, in one of the deepest places on the planet, were made by a team of marine biologists from the University of Aberdeen and experts from Japan and New Zealand.
The snailfish was found living at a depth of 7,000m in a trench in the South East Pacific Ocean, which was previously thought to be free of fish
The team took part in a three-week expedition, during which they used deep-sea imaging technology to take 6,000 pictures at depths between 4,500m and 8,000m within the trench.
The mission was the seventh to take place as part of HADEEP, a collaborative research project between the University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab and the University of Tokyo's Ocean Research Institute, supported by New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research (NIWA).