Strange alien-like fish seen in the ocean’s twilight zone off the coast of California

During a dive with our education and outreach partner, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the team found a rare treat: a barrel-eye fish (Macropinna microstoma).MBARI’s Ventana and Doc Ricketts remotely operated vehicles have logged over 5,600 successful dives and recorded over 27,600 hours of video – but we only found this fish nine times!The barreleye lives in the twilight zone of the ocean, at depths of 600 to 800 meters (2,000 to 2,600 feet).
Their eyes look up to locate their favorite prey—usually small crustaceans trapped in the tentacles of siphonophores—in the shadows they cast in the faint glow of the sun overhead.But how does this fish eat when its eyes point up and its mouth points forward?
MBARI researchers learned that the snout can rotate its bright green eyes under its transparent fabric dome (head).Aquarist Tommy Knowles and his team were aboard the MBARI R/V Rachel Carson with our ROV Ventana to collect jellies and comb jellies for the aquarium’s upcoming Into the Deep exhibit when they spotted this fascinating fish.
The team stopped to marvel at Macropinna before he walked away.

Share this:

Leave a Reply