Brooding blob sculpin in the Canadian Arctic

During a research expedition to the Beaufort Sea in the Canadian Arctic in the summer of 2017, scientists from MBARI, the Korea Polar Research Institute, and the Geological Survey of Canada observed a blob sculpin tending its eggs. The research team was using MBARI’s MiniROV to collect samples and document the seafloor using the ROV’s high-definition camera. This fish was observed at approximately 1,000 meters deep on the Western Mackenzie Trough, above the Arctic Circle. 

The brooding blob sculpin was spotted while researchers were working in the Beaufort Sea north in Canada.

Perched atop a clean rock, the adult fish was standing guard next to small, white spheres: its eggs. This level of parental care has rarely been observed for deep-sea animals, but was documented by MBARI scientists for both the blob sculpin species Psychrolutes phrictus and the octopus Granelodone boreopacifica off the coast of California in 2003 and, in more detail, for Granelodone boreopacifica in Monterey Canyon in 2014. This rare sighting is just another example of how MBARI’s early investments in observational technology are paying dividends today.

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