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Ghost fish finally spotted alive

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'Ghost Fish' Seen Live for First Time
ghost fish (Aphyonidae)/NOAA

From Stephanie Pappas at LiveScience:

The fish, part of the family Aphyonidae, was caught on camera during an ongoing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) exploration by the ship Okeanos Explorer.

The secretive fish was swimming along a ridge 8,202 feet (2,500 meters) down, according to NOAA. The animal is about 4 inches (10 centimeters) long, with translucent, scale-less skin and eerie, colorless eyes. No fish in the family Aphyonidae has ever been seen alive before.

They usually turned up dead in dreding or trawling operations.

“There has been a big debate about whether these are pelagic, living up in the water column, or whether they’re associated with the bottom, like this one is,” he said. The observation of the ghostly fish flitting along the ocean bottom doesn’t settle the question, he said, but provides the first evidence to suggest that these fish are bottom-dwellers. More.

The deep sea is a good place to study the extremes of evolution among vertebrates, and a good way to be warned against rule by decades of dogmatism. We do not know nearly enough to be so certain.

See also: Deep sea fish uses tripod to stand

Mysteries of the deep sea: Gigantic cells play host to multicellular organisms

and

Lazarus species: animals listed as extinct that turned up again. (Sometimes we think they are gone and they are not.)

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