Deep sea Dragon fish species
The acrylic sphere floats like a soap bubble in the rough waves, and I drop through the dripping hatch into my seat beside the famed ocean explorer Edith Widder.
We are test-driving a new three-person submarine in choppy waters off Grand Bahama Island. Despite the rocking gusts of wind outside, Widder is serene.
“Surface, surface, this is Triton, ” our pilot says. “My hatch is secure. My life-support systems are running.”
“You are cleared to dive, ” a static-drowned voice replies.
“OK, folks, here we go.”
Widder studies underwater light. From bacteria to sea cucumbers to shrimp and fish, and even a few species of sharks, more than 50 percent of deep-ocean animals use light to holler and flirt and fight. They carry glowing torches atop their heads. They vomit brightness. They smear light on their enemies. Bioluminescence, Widder believes, is the most common, and most eloquent, language on earth, and it’s informing fields from biomedicine to modern warfare to deep-sea exploration. Most recently, on a historic voyage off the coast of Japan, she used her bioluminescent bag of tricks to summon the most legendary sea creature of all: the giant squid.
Today we are hoping to see ostracods, seed-size bioluminescent crustaceans that emerge from shallow sea grass beds and coral reefs some 15 minutes after sunset to put on one of the most sophisticated light shows in nature. The males leave blobs of mucus and radiant chemicals behind them, which hang suspended like glowing ellipses. “The spacing of the dots is species-specific, ” Widder explains. “A female knows that if she goes to the end of the right string, she’ll find a male of her species that she can mate with.” This luminous seduction is called the “string of pearls” phenomenon.
You supposed to be a marine?2011-03-01 16:44:21 by not-a-clown-fish
Bat·fish /ˈbætˌfɪʃ/ Show Spelled
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noun, plural ( especially collectively ) -fish, ( especially referring to two or more kinds or species ) -fish·es.
1. any of the flat-bodied, marine fishes of the family Ogcocephalidae, as Ogcocephalus vespertilio, common in the southern Atlantic coastal waters of the U.S.
2. a stingray, Aetobatis californicus, found off the coast of California.
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