Video Catches Rare Glimpse of Elusive Fish

Highfin dragonfish is spotted in California
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2022 11:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – Meet Bathophilus flemingi, better known by its more accessible name of highfin dragonfish. Scientists with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California captured video of the rarely seen creature at a depth of about 1,000 feet, thanks to a remotely operated vehicle, reports NPR. "In more than three decades of deep-sea research and more than 27,600 hours of video, we've only seen this particular species four times!" reads a tweet from MBARI accompanied by video. The particular dragonfish spotted has a coppery bronze color, but Live Science notes that absent the lights from the ROV, the fish would likely be virtually invisible.

"They are just amazing animals, and part of what is appealing is that color pattern," says MBARI's Bruce Robison, lead researcher for the team that spotted the fish in Monterey Bay. "When we shine our white lights on it, it’s just gorgeous." The highfin dragonfish can reach about 7 inches in length, though other dragonfish species grow to about 20 inches, per NPR. As Science Alert notes, dragonfish are famous for the sharp teeth and clever hunting techniques. Some have what amounts to a natural fishing lure that extends from their mouth to catch prey. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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