The last time this fish was seen in the wild in 1999 off the coast of Tasmania, then it was noticed by one of the divers. In total, four cases of observation of such marine animals have been recorded in history.
Experts believe that this species of the Brachionichthyaceae family is on the verge of extinction, so it was recently included in the corresponding list. However, now there is new evidence that these fish are still in the wild.
Footage of a pink fish that walks on “hands” was captured by a camera with a bait that scientists installed on the ocean floor off the coast of Tasmania in February this year.
The research was conducted in the Commonwealth Marine Reserve on the Tasman Fracture — it is located on a vast territory the size of Switzerland and is known for a rich variety of marine animals, which also live at depths of up to 4 thousand meters – thanks to a fault in the earth’s crust.
With the help of an underwater camera, the experts intended to observe corals, lobsters and various types of fish.
It turned out that a representative of the Brachionichthyaceae family lives at a greater depth than previously thought. Scientists were sure that such fish live only in shallow water in bays, but the camera recorded a “walking fish” at a depth of 150 meters.
“An amazing discovery”
“This is an amazing discovery that gives hope for the continued survival of pink fish with hands. Now it has become clear that their habitat and prevalence are wider than previously thought,” says study author Professor Nevil Barrett from University of Tasmania.
The rarest fish in October of this year was noticed in a group of other marine animals by a member of a scientific group who worked with footage taken by an underwater camera. “I was watching one of the video files — and then I saw that some fish got out on the reef, which seemed a little strange to me,” says Ashley Bastiansen from University of Tasmania. —I took a closer look—and then I noticed her hands.”
The footage shows how a 15-centimeter fish swims out of the reef after being scared off by a rocky lobster. It seems that at first she was interested in what was happening, but after a few seconds she floats away.
“In this short period of time, we received excellent footage that allowed us to accurately identify a representative of this species and determine its size,” Professor Barrett said in an interview with ABC.
The pink fish with hands is one of 14 species of the Brachionichthyaceae family that live only near the coast of the Australian continent.
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