Biologists discover deep-sea fish living where there is virtually no oxygen


Lollipop sharks have large heads and gills, which may help them absorb oxygen in low-oxygen environments. Image: © 2015 MBARI

Oxygen—it’s a basic necessity for animal life. But marine biologists recently discovered large numbers 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 postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She worked closely with professor Lisa Levin and other Scripps researchers on the paper, as well as with MBARI biologist Jim Barry, who led the research cruise.

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