Biologists Discover Deep Sea Fish That Exists In Environment With Virtually No Oxygen

Source: Fulton-Bennett/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Photo: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons


Oxygen—it’s a basic necessity for animal life. But marine biologists recently discovered large schools of fishes living in the dark depths of the Gulf of California where there is virtually no oxygen. Using an underwater robot, the scientists observed these fishes thriving in low-oxygen conditions that would be deadly to most other fish. This discovery could help scientists understand how other marine animals might cope with ongoing changes in the chemistry of the ocean.

The researchers described their discovery in a recent article in the journal Ecology. The lead author of the article, Natalya Gallo, is a graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She worked closely with other Scripps researchers on the paper, as well as with MBARI biologist Jim Barry, who led the research cruise.

In 2015, Barry, Gallo, and eight other researchers conducted a series of dives in several deep ocean basins in the Gulf of California using MBARI’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Doc Ricketts—a state-of-the-art underwater robot. Gallo was particularly interested in these areas because her Ph.D. thesis focuses on animals that live in very . The deep waters of the Gulf of California have some of the most extreme low- habitats in the world.

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Photo: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

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