Dragons lurk in dark depths

Last spring, MBARI’s science team captured a rare encounter with a highfin dragonfish (Bathophilus flemingi) in stunning ultra high-definition 4K video. Dragonfishes (family Stomiidae) are cunning predators. Although they are strong swimmers, they prefer to lie in wait and ambush unsuspecting fishes and crustaceans. When a tasty morsel comes close, their big jaws open wide, and sharp teeth snap shut. The highfin dragonfish can be up to 16.5 centimeters (6.5 inches) long. The fins of this beautifully bronze deep-sea dragon have long, thin rays. Scientists suspect those wing-like filaments may sense vibrations in the water, alerting the fish when predators or prey approach. In more than three decades of research, we have recorded more than 28,000 hours of deep-sea video, yet we have only seen this particular species four times!

Deep-sea squid carries her eggs to keep them safe from predators

These nurturing squid mothers carry their eggs until they hatch to improve their babies’ chances for survival.