In the depths of an underwater canyon off the coast of Puerto Rico, there is a group of balloon-like sea creatures that keep things in the deepest depths

Their body is small – about the size of a tee (more of 2 inch or 6 cm de long) – but realistic; As the creatures move and throb, rows of tiny hair-like eyelashes break light into a brightly colored prism.

Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discovered these mysterious places to party for the first time in 2015, seeing three near the bottom of the sea at depths of about 13000 feet (4000 meters) now, in an article published on 18 November in the journal Plankton and Benthos Research, the team identified the spots as a new species of ctenophore – small invertebrate predators also known as comb jellies or «comb jellies». Sea nuts – called Duobrachium sparksae

Although their tiny bodies and shimmering eyelashes are common features of most 100 known ctenophores, Puerto Rican Party Score remains an exciting first in marine biology, researchers say, il s’agit de la première espèce sous-marine que les chercheurs de la NOAA décrivent à partir d’images seules; L’équipe n’a pas pu accéder aux échantillons physiques de sa nouvelle étude.

«Les caméras du robot Deep Discoverer [télécommandé] sont capables d’obtenir des images haute résolution et de mesurer des structures de moins d’un millimètre, a déclaré le co-auteur de l’étude Allen Collins, un scientifique halieutique de la NOAA, in a press release. Nous avons les mêmes microscopes que nous avons dans le laboratoire, mais la vidéo peut nous donner suffisamment d’informations pour comprendre la morphologie en détail. »

Despite its name, la gelée en peigne n’est pas liée aux méduses, bien qu’elle ait une apparence gélatineuse similaire. D Sparksay ne fait pas exception, avec huit rangées de cils hérissés qui s’enroulent autour d’un corps translucide. Collins a déclaré que ce corps se termine par deux points connectés. Ses tentacules longs et minces donnent à la créature l’apparence d’un ballon flottant avec des «mâchoires flottantes», chacune reliée à sa propre chaîne

Les chercheurs ont écrit que l’un des trois échantillons rencontrés par l’équipe semblait être «anchor» au fond de la mer à travers ses tentacules à l’aide d’une paire de lasers sur leur robot sous-marin. The researchers measured the approximate length of the object and tentacles in this sample, and found that the probes were about five times the length. The jelly body (each sensor measured 12 inch or 30 cm de long) NOAA lead study author Michael Ford said when you stir the gel, he was moving “like a hot air balloon” and maintained a certain height above the ocean floor.

There are still many questions about this elusive deep-water freeze, including the role it plays in its ecosystem. More video footage of the points will provide more evidence, but for DNA analysis, researchers will have to put their gloves on an intact sample. Researchers said it could be easier said than done, because jelly-like animals have a very short shelf life outside of deep water.

«Even though we had the equipment, there would be little time to treat the animal because gelatinous animals do not store well; ctenophores are worse than jellyfish in this regard», said Collins “High quality video and photography were essential in describing these new genres.”

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Jelly Comb

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