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Swire’s Snailfish: Deepest fish in the world

Image Credit: Gerringer, Linley, Jamieson, Goetze & Drazen, 2017

Pseudoliparis swirei is the deepest-dwelling fish in the world. This small deep sea creature can withstand more water pressure than 1,600 elephants standing on its head. Researchers exploring the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on Earth, found large numbers of weird, tadpole-like fish swarming their mackerel-baited traps.

This translucent snailfish was recorded 5 miles below the surface of the ocean, making it the deepest-dwelling fish in the world. This is a tadpole-like fish measuring 112 mm yet appears to be the top predator in its benthic community at the bottom of this particularly deep sea. P. swirei belongs to the snailfish family, Liparidae. It is believed that 8,200m is a physiological limit below which nearly no fishes can survive.

Watch video of Pseudoliparis swirei in its habitat

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Suggested Reading

GERRINGER ME, LINLEY TD, JAMIESON AJ, GOETZE E, DRAZEN JC. Pseudoliparis swirei sp. nov.: A newly-discovered hadal snailfish (Scorpaeniformes: Liparidae) from the Mariana Trench. Z. 2017;4358(1):161. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4358.1.7

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