Featured Image Credit: Ocean Explorer Gov via Youtube
By Alice Morris
A walking fish seems about as likely as a flying pig, right?
Not when it comes to the amazing sea robin!
The sea robin, or Triglidae, is a fascinating fish that uses its thick, stiff fin rays like legs to walk across the ocean floor.
See for yourself!
“Those things that you see under the fish that are like little, thin legs – they’re actually part of the fin,” said one researcher aboard the Okeanos. “They’re a really interesting fish with a lot of morphological features for life on the seafloor.”
The footage was obtained using a remotely operated vehicle within the Ta’U unit of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.
Okeanos is currently on an expedition to explore the waters around American Samoa and Samoa on a three-year trip that will end in April. The goal of the campaign is to study the sanctuary and Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean so that better management decisions can be made regarding the waters.
One Okeanos Explorer scientist wrote the following in a mission plan:
Very little is known about deep-sea habitats including deep-sea coral and sponge communities, in American Samoa. Data and information from our expedition will fill gaps in knowledge about the deep-sea habitats in the region and improve our overall understanding of the deep-sea biogeography of the Central Pacific.
Armored sea robins are related to the sea robins found in shallow waters along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.
They are characterized by the bony plates that cover their bodies and the branched barbels, or whiskers, which they use as taste buds at the front of their mouths.
You can track the Okeanos Explorer and view photos and video from the expedition here.