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The creature, found in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, measures 1.50 cm and has the ability to turn its fins into walking legs.
A group of American scientists discovered an incredible sea creature deep in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a monkfish Schaefer ( Sladenia Shaefersi ), a fish that can walk with its fins and performs sexual parasitism.
The mysterious fish inhabits almost a thousand meters below the surface, in dark waters. Their finding came after more than a month of expedition and had never been seen before in the South Florida ocean, said Okeanos SE Deep-Sea Exploration researchers.
“Although we find different types of monkfish during our exploration, this particular species is not as well known, so glimpse it during the 12th immersion of 2019 during deep-sea exploration to the southeast of the USA. UU., And seeing its modified fins that act as feet and allow you to walk on the seabed, was a pleasure, “described NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration an Research, the agency that carried out the exploration project.
This sea creature can measure up to 1.50 meters and weigh up to 50 kilograms. Its diet is based on other fish , but it is also able to devour prey twice its size, collects Infobae.
Although it is the first time a Schaefer monkfish is observed in the Gulf of Mexico, the species had already been discovered in 1976. That year, it was found off the coast of Colombia, in the Caribbean Sea.
National Geographic magazine described the fish on that occasion as “possibly the ugliest animal on the planet,” who “lives in what is easily the most inhospitable habitat on Earth: the lonely and lightless seabed.”
The scientists explained that another of its characteristics is its ability to camouflage itself.
“If we thought it was a rock, imagine that you were a fish, a small fish, you would not realize [that it is there],” narrates a video released by the agency.
The skin of this monkfish is thick and rubbery, and has a mottled pattern that allows it to blend with the deep waters that are cloudy.
In addition to having the peculiarity of modifying its fins to turn them into legs that allow it to stand and move on the seabed, this fish also performs an unusual sexual reproduction.
Upon mating, the male adheres to the female and merges with her body. They join their tissues and their circulatory systems, which makes it depend on the female to survive.
This type of reproduction is known as sexual parasitism. It is estimated that at least 20 species of fish practice it.
Source: La Republica