'Four-Legged' Fish Found Walking On Ocean Floor Near Indonesia

Perhaps he had just got tired of swimming. For this odd-looking fish looks like he's just decided to head out for an evening stroll along the ocean floor.  But while it looks like he has
four legged fish found walking on ocean floor...
PTI August 27, 2010 11:34 IST
Perhaps he had just got tired of swimming.

For this odd-looking fish looks like he's just decided to head out for an evening stroll along the ocean floor.  

But while it looks like he has sprouted legs, this angler fish's limbs are just the fins he uses to balance himself on the sea bed.  

The fish rests on the ocean floor as he prepares to make a dart for any passing prey he has lured towards him using the protrusion above his mouth.

Faye Archell of the Centre for Applied Zoology said: “Many species of Angler Fish are what are known as ambush predators.  

“Their fins have adapted as limb like structures to allow them to remain stationary on the sea bed while causing minimal disturbance to the substrate and remaining totally camouflaged.  

“They then use a protrusion on their heads, just above their mouths, that they use as a lure to catch their prey”.  

Most of these species live in the great depths of the oceans, but some are found in shallower, tropical environments  

The stunning picture was taken by scientists using cutting-edge technology to explore waters off Indonesia.  

They predict that as many as 40 new plant and animal species may have been discovered during the three-week expedition that ended last week.

More than 100 hours of video and 100,000 photographs, captured using a robotic vehicle with high-definition cameras, were piped to shore in real-time by satellite and high-speed Internet.  

Verena Tunnicliffe, a professor at the University of Victoria in Canada, said the images provided an extraordinary glimpse into one of the globe's most complex and little-known marine ecosystems.

'Stalked sea lilies once covered the ocean, shallow and deep, but now are rare,' she said in a written statement. 'I've only seen a few in my career. But on this expedition, I was amazed to see them in great diversity.'

 One animal captured on video looks like a flower, covered with glasslike needles, but scientists think it is probably a carnivorous sponge. The spikes, covered with sticky tissue, appear to capture food as it passes by.  

Scientists used powerful sonar mapping system and the robotic vehicle to explore nearly 21,000 square miles of sea floor off northern Indonesia, at depths ranging from 800 feet to over two miles.

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