See a Rare ‘Beautifully Bronze Deep-Sea Dragon’ Shimmer on Video

See a Rare ‘Beautifully Bronze Deep-Sea Dragon’ Shimmer on Video

California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has discovered another gem of the deep with a video of a rare top-tier dragonfish (Bathophilus flemingi), a toothy predator known for its hunting technique consisting of calmly dragging through the water to catch unsuspecting prey.

Mbari shared the ethereal video of the torpedo-shaped creature this week. The footage comes from 980 feet (300 meters) deep in the bay and was captured by the remotely operated vehicle Doc Ricketts (named after marine biologist Ed Ricketts). The ROV’s lighting system illuminated the fish, showing off its shimmering metallic appearance. Doc Ricketts was deployed from Mbari’s research vessel Western Flyer.

The bronze colored fish was cause for excitement due to its rarity. “Mbari researchers have observed a few different dragonfish in the depths of Monterey Bay, but this is the rarest we have encountered,” the institute said on YouTube. “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 fish is only about 6.5 inches (16.5 centimeters) in length. The shiny appearance of this specimen contrasts with many dragonfish, which are very dark. In an explainer of dragonfish, Mbari said they were “pigmented with some of the darkest blacks known in nature”. A A 2020 study highlighted the ultra-black look of some of these fascinating fish.

For another view of Bathophilus flemingi, see images shared by ichthyologist Ben Frable in 2020. Frable described the fish as having “a stunning bronze-gold luster under tilted light”.

We’ve seen eye-catching ocean wonders through ROV Adventures this year. Look at this”yellow brick road” in the Pacific and what pair of cute dumbo octopuses. The Glittering Dragonfish is one more treasure to add to the bounty.

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