Scientists discover new species in one of world's deepest ocean trenches

Oct 17, 2010
Oceanlab scientists revealed a new species of snailfish living at 7000m, never before caught or captured on camera

Scientists investigating in one of the world’s deepest ocean trenches -- previously thought to be void of fish -- have discovered an entirely new species.

The findings by a team of marine biologists from Aberdeen, Tokyo and New Zealand, have shed new light on life in the deepest places on Earth and the global distribution of fish in our oceans.

The expedition to the Peru-Chile trench in the South East Pacific revealed a new species of snailfish living at 7000m, never before caught or captured on camera.

Mass groupings of cusk-eels and large crustacean scavengers were also discovered living at these depths for the first time.
During the 3 week expedition on the research vessel Sonne, the team of scientists employed state-of-the-art deep-sea imaging technology, including an ultra-deep free-falling baited camera system, to take a total of 6000 images between 4500 and 8000 metres deep within the trench.

Large crustacean scavengers were discovered living at depths of 8000m for the first time

The expedition is the seventh to take place as part of HADEEP — a collaborative research project between the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab and the University of Tokyo’s Ocean Research Institute, with support from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research institute (NIWA).

The HADEEP team has been investigating extreme depths across the globe for 3 years. Their findings to date have included capturing the world’s deepest fish on camera for the first time.

These latest discoveries provide a new insight into the depths at which fish survive and the diversity of populations which could exist in the deepest points of oceans across the globe.

Dr Alan Jamieson from the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab, who led the expedition said: “Our findings, which revealed diverse and abundant species at depths previously thought to be void of fish, will prompt a rethink into marine populations at extreme depths.

“This expedition was prompted by our findings in 2008 and 2009 off Japan and New Zealand where we discovered new species of snailfish known as Liparids - inhabiting trenches off Japan and New Zealand at depths of approximately 7000m — with each trench hosting its own unique species of the fish.

Mass group of a species of cusk-eel - known as Ophidiids

“To test whether these species would be found in all trenches, we repeated our experiments on the other side of the Pacific Ocean off Peru and Chile, some 6000 miles from our last observations.

“What we found was that indeed there was another unique species of snailfish living at 7000m — entirely new to science, which had never been caught or seen before.

“A species of cusk-eel - known as Ophidiids - also gathered at our camera and began a feeding frenzy that lasted 22 hours - the entire duration of the deployment.

“Further research needs to be conducted to decipher whether this is also an entirely of cusk-eel that we have discovered.

“Our investigations also revealed a species of crustacean scavengers - known as amphipods - which we previously did not know existed at these depths in such great numbers.

“These are large shrimp-like creatures of which one particular group, called Eurythenes, were generally far larger and occurred much deeper in this trench than has ever been found before.”

Dr Niamh Kilgallen, an amphipod expert from NIWA said:”The sheer abundance of these big amphipods was overwhelming, particularly at 7000 and 8000m, which is much deeper than they have been found in any other trench. It begs the question of why and how they can live so deep in this trench but not in any other.”

Large crustacean scavengers

Dr Toyonobu Fujii, a deep-sea fish expert from the University of Aberdeen said “How deep fish can live has long been an intriguing question and the results from this expedition has provided deeper insight into our understanding of the global distribution of in the oceans.”

Dr Jamieson added: “These findings prompt a re-evaluation of the diversity and abundance of life at extreme depths. Furthermore, it is now apparent that each of the deep trenches across the globe hosts a unique assembly of animals which can differ greatly from trench to trench. The immense isolation of each trench draws parallels with island evolution theory popularised by Darwin’s finches.”

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User comments : 22

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Au-Pu
3.8 / 5 (5) Oct 17, 2010
Intriguing.
I guess that at these depths they will be safe from fishermen.
This totally independent support of Darwin's theory is also very interesting.
DamienS
3.9 / 5 (7) Oct 18, 2010
This totally independent support of Darwin's theory is also very interesting.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'independent', but Darwin's 'theory' really needs no further support - it's simply fact.
nuge
4.5 / 5 (8) Oct 18, 2010
I am absolutely a supporter of Darwinism, of course, however you are incorrect. It IS a theory, in the same way that Newtonian mechanics is a theory - there is overwhelming evidence for each, but they will both always remain theories.
hylozoic
3 / 5 (5) Oct 18, 2010
"Simply fact"? How delightfully religious, yet lacking in scientific rigour.
As a hypothesis, C Darwin's model 'overlay' accounts for pattern, yet does not seem as 'fit' as a life-science model could be. The model will change appropriately -- given time, and the age-related deaths of individuals who wish to stop its development. As for example with Newton's model, which by the 1940's had markedly changed. Biology is going to take a bit more time, given the myopic 'boosterism' which still surrounds it -- if only in order to define itself against other reality models. Ahhh.
hylozoic
not rated yet Oct 18, 2010
Fine trench discoveries, by the by. Hope some macro organisms are 'discovered' down there soon. Always delights the children, you know. Gets them into the area of inquiry.
DamienS
5 / 5 (4) Oct 18, 2010
"Simply fact"? How delightfully religious, yet lacking in scientific rigour.
As a hypothesis, C Darwin's model 'overlay' accounts for pattern, yet does not seem as 'fit' as a life-science model could be. The model will change appropriately -- given time, and the age-related deaths of individuals who wish to stop its development. As for example with Newton's model, which by the 1940's had markedly changed. Biology is going to take a bit more time, given the myopic 'boosterism' which still surrounds it -- if only in order to define itself against other reality models. Ahhh.

Word salad.
jtdrexel
not rated yet Oct 18, 2010
"Simply fact"? How delightfully religious, yet lacking in scientific rigour.
As a hypothesis, C Darwin's model 'overlay' accounts for pattern, yet does not seem as 'fit' as a life-science model could be. The model will change appropriately -- given time, and the age-related deaths of individuals who wish to stop its development. As for example with Newton's model, which by the 1940's had markedly changed. Biology is going to take a bit more time, given the myopic 'boosterism' which still surrounds it -- if only in order to define itself against other reality models. Ahhh.

Word salad.


MUCH AGREED! WORD SALAD INDEED. HE NEEDS TO S-T-F-UP AND KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 18, 2010
Darwin's theory of natural selection is the theory. Evolution itself is an observed fact.
El_Nose
1 / 5 (6) Oct 18, 2010
how is evolustion an observed fact?? -- one of the best arguments against evolution is that it takes place on a time scale that is unobservable.

as for the word salad - i thought it was actually very concise - or at least better than i could have done in that many words. Darwinism is a scientific paradigmn that allows hypothesis to be tested within a framework .. eventually this will give way to a better framework and we will look at Darwinists with pity ... much the same way people in this forum regards creationists.

And just to be clear creationism is a scientific paradigm - that was used for years before darwinism came along
El_Nose
1 / 5 (6) Oct 18, 2010
how is evolustion an observed fact?? -- one of the best arguments against evolution is that it takes place on a time scale that is unobservable. Unless you are counting the fact that mutation do exist - or that genetic drift is proven fact - but evolution is a theory, and paradignm.

as for the word salad - i thought it was actually very concise - or at least better than i could have done in that many words. Darwinism is a scientific paradigmn that allows hypothesis to be tested within a framework .. eventually this will give way to a better framework and we will look at Darwinists with pity ... much the same way people in this forum regards creationists.

sorry i was trying to edit that first comment - and ran out of time.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (8) Oct 18, 2010
how is evolustion an observed fact??
We've documented it in single and multicellular organisms, including divergence and the construction of novel physiological processes.
one of the best arguments against evolution is that it takes place on a time scale that is unobservable.
And that's not accurate. Coal moths, leptorids of the hawaiian islands, the scrub rodents in australia and the western us, as well as a great many other organisms have shown adaptive evolution in relevant timescales observable by an individual.
Darwinism is a scientific paradigmn that allows hypothesis to be tested within a framework
Word salad again.
And just to be clear creationism is a scientific paradigm
No it isn't. It is a theological framework.
El_Nose
1 / 5 (5) Oct 18, 2010
the reason creationism is not only a theological framework but also a scientific one is that for centuries is was used as a scientific framework. In 200 years when we have moved passed darwinism as a framework we will regard it as a theological framework as well - or just a very poor understanding of observation - just because it has fallen out of favor as a scientific paragimn doesn't mean it never was one.

and that word salad is as you call it is actually what most people consider a complete thought.. or sentance. Arguably the shortest way to convey information.
Kosmic
5 / 5 (4) Oct 18, 2010
Descent with modification from common ancestors is a scientific fact

The theory of evolution is a complex body of statements, including facts, laws and tested hypotheses concerning the causes of evolution that is well supported but still incomplete therefore it is not a scientific fact.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (7) Oct 18, 2010
the reason creationism is not only a theological framework but also a scientific one is that for centuries is was used as a scientific framework.
And that doesn't make it science any more than the myths of Zeus striking a mudpuddle with lightning. Creationism is a mythical fairy tale, no observational evidence means no empirical science.
In 200 years when we have moved passed darwinism as a framework we will regard it as a theological framework as well
No, there's evidence, not theism involved.
and that word salad is as you call it is actually what most people consider a complete thought.. or sentance.
No, a "sentence" that describes Darwinian Evolution would be constructed like this:

Darwinian Evolution is typified by the non-random survival of randomly generated organisms.
El_Nose
1 / 5 (4) Oct 18, 2010
and this is the debate of what science is... science you say is based on fact ... but that is only true in most instances.

Biology is considered a science - but the species are placed in groups based on personal observations and understandings of nature only know are we going back and looking at classifiing things by DNA or mitochodria ...

Science should be about measuring everything and figuring out how to measure the unmeasurable -- but science is dominated by opinion. And popular opinion. This does not make it fact. In fact Science is not about facts at all but about theories that closely predict outcomes that can be measured.

If science is fact - why do the facts change every few years/ decades??

Creationism was a fact 175 years ago - just as Darwinism is a fact today. Your inablility to accept the past - or the fallibility of 'science' is a personal flaw.
El_Nose
1 / 5 (6) Oct 18, 2010
All the evidence that was needed at the time to support creationism existed until people came up with clever arguemnets and evidence to refute it.

I am not expounding on the joys of creationism - I am merely trying to convey that all the necessary objects were there for it to be concidered a scientific paradigmn.. and the main thing to be considered a scientific paradignm is widespread exceptance and usage within the applicable peer group. So until Darwinism came around what do you propose was the scientific paradignm of the era ?? spontaneous generation ??

There was a framework at the time I say creationism was that framework -- you say I am a fool ... but you have not given a suitable alternative.

- And my sentance is still valid and addresses a point of summerizing a previous statement. Yours does not address this point.
El_Nose
1 / 5 (4) Oct 18, 2010
Along with the demise of creationism came the development of the scientific method which makes science a more measuarable & evidence based pursuit. But theories that make up our paradignms are often incomplete & widely excepted. Because they are based on evidence that can be recreated, and from wide spread acceptance.

I was asked by one of my math professors a long time ago why I placed so much stock in science facts.. and I said because they can be proven- he then asked me why do they change?

We lean so heavily on science that many people - and I was one- make science into this unrefutable religion. And its not, and it was never meant to be that.

Science merely gives us a means of naming everything we can measure. It can be disputed by Ph.d's but their disputes like our arguement is one of Philosophy- thats why they get doctorates in philosophy, and have to defend their argument.

Science breaks down into well defended arguement the higher you get.. and we call them facts.
DamienS
5 / 5 (5) Oct 18, 2010
It seems that I've stirred a hornet's nest with my casual statement that evolution is a fact. El Nose then went off half cocked building a house of cards based on murky reasoning and confused deductions, while at the same time getting some things right along the way.

You can argue the minutia of statements comprising the theory as to their absolute accuracy and so on, but you cannot argue the fact that organisms undergo evolutionary changes and that the theory of evolution is a statement of fact. Darwin didn't know anything about the genetic mechanism that enables evolution to take place, but that doesn't invalidate the overarching principles of evolution. Indeed, in lieu of such knowledge, it makes it a triumph of observation and reasoning.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 18, 2010
There was a framework at the time I say creationism was that framework -- you say I am a fool ... but you have not given a suitable alternative.

- And my sentance is still valid and addresses a point of summerizing a previous statement. Yours does not address this point.
You're a fool because the Greeks had come to the line of thought that Gods were imaginary and life arose from nature 600 years before Christianity was ever thought of. Learn your history.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 19, 2010
Biology is considered a science - but the species are placed in groups based on personal observations and understandings of nature only know are we going back and looking at classifiing things by DNA or mitochodria ...
That isn't biology, that is taxonomy (a creationist invention) which we've done away with. Now we use genetics and paleobiology to establish phylogeny otherwise known as cladistics. This is an evidence based field, unlike taxonomy which was only based on "observations within a kind".
El_Nose
1 / 5 (1) Oct 19, 2010
I really wasn't going off half cocked --

I am really just taking the other side of a debate we were forced to have in philosophy class years ago. Many who had to take a few philosophy classes will recognize the basis of my arguements and the will know the progenitors that gave those arguements genesis.

I am being called a fool and such by Skeptic - but the fact of the matter is I believe in evolution. My arguement is that we shouldn't forget or discredit the past because we have moved forward.

I agree almost totally with skeptic's last comment - we are really just disagreeing on where to to place the science or mystisism or wahterever you want to call it that happened before the onset of the scientific method was established.

I believe very few people are fools. I do however believe that most people have had very different educational experiences and access to other view points. We disagree -- vote me a 1 on this comment as well -- rank here is like karma on slashdot
nuge
not rated yet Oct 20, 2010
I think what we're all trying to say, El Nose, is that we SHOULD discredit that past 'theory'/'framework' - in the same way that the phlogiston theory (http://en.wikiped..._theory) is no longer taken seriously as a "scientific paradigm" (it has been discredited by showing that there is a more reasonable explanation for the changes that occur during combustion), creationism has also been discredited, by showing that there is a more reasonable explanation, or theory, as to how so many different species came to be. In the same way that phlogiston is no longer acknowledged as a theory, we believe that creationism is not worth being acknowledged. You seemed to be disputing this to those who only vaguely read your comments (whether you intended to or not) and that is probably why you are being treated as a fool.