Researchers spot rare type of dragonfish 1,000 feet deep: NPR

Researchers spot rare type of dragonfish 1,000 feet deep: NPR

This species of dragonfish can grow to just under 7 inches in length and is often found 1,000 feet or more below the ocean surface.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute/Screenshot by NPR


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Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute/Screenshot by NPR


This species of dragonfish can grow to just under 7 inches in length and is often found 1,000 feet or more below the ocean surface.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute/Screenshot by NPR

California researchers recently discovered an incredibly elusive type of dragonfish from the depths nearly 300 meters below the surface of the ocean.

The high-finned dragonfish, Bathophilus flemingi, was recently spotted by a team of researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute aboard the research vessel Western Flyer, the institute announced on Twitter. And while they’ve encountered dragonfish before, this particular find was incredibly special.

“In over three decades of deep-sea research and over 27,600 hours of video, we’ve only seen this particular species four times!” the post reads.

This creature of the deep reaches just under 7 inches long, although some of its cousins ​​can reach 20 inches long. According to Fishbase, the highfin dragonfish is found in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the west coast of North America and at depths between about 740 feet and 4,500 feet below the ocean surface.

With an appearance close to a science fiction film, these fish have long, narrow bodies and small fins. And although the specimen encountered by the researchers is a beautiful orange hue, most types of dragonfish are black. In fact, their skin pigment is one of the darkest blacks found in nature, MBARI said.

Some dragonfish use a luminescent lure to grab their prey, dangling it in front of its mouth until an unsuspecting treat arrives.

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