Meet The Rare Fish That Walks In The Deep Waters Of American Samoa

First Posted: Mar 07, 2017 03:10 AM EST

The NOAA biologists have captured another image of the bizarre creature in their three-week expedition to the American Samoa region of the Pacific. They have seen a rare fish that seems walking on thin stick-figure legs in the ocean at a depth of almost 4 kilometers (2.5 miles).

The team used the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to capture the image of the rare species. The team was aboard the Okeanos Explorer from Feb. 16 to Feb. 26 and searched three sanctuaries, namely the National Park of American Samoa, the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument and the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, according to Science Alert.

NOAA team member Santiago Herrera said that much remain unknown about the deep-sea habitats and geology in and around these protected places. He further said that this expedition will contribute new information by exploring areas of the deep ocean in American Samoa for the first time.

The spotted never-before-seen species is known as the armored searobin. In the image below, the armored searobin seems walking with thin stick-like legs, which are actually its fin rays.

A researcher said that those things that you see under the fish that are like little, thin legs, they are actually part of the fin. He further said that they are really interesting fish with a lot of morphological features for life on the seafloor.

The armored searobins walk instead of swimming as other fish do. This is their standard form of locomotion. They have bony plates along their bodies and thick, stiff fin rays that they use like legs, according to Dive Photo Guide.

There are other never-before-seen species the researchers spotted in their American Samoa expedition. These include sea stars, cosmic jellyfish, mollusks, corals, Venus flytrap anemone and sponges, among others. 

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