Icefish Colony In Antarctica: Researchers exploring the ocean floor of Antarctica have discovered an ‘icefish colony’ the size of ‘about a third the size of London’. This in itself is an amazing discovery. Biologists have found about 60 million fish houses. The scientists were regularly collecting data at 1.5-2.5 meters above sea level in the Weddell Sea, south of Antarctica, when they made the discovery. Earlier, scientists had found the largest colony of 60 fish houses.
We expected to see a normal Antarctic sea floor, said Autun Purser from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, lead author of the study published in Current Biology. But during the first four hours of our search, we saw nothing but fish houses. This amazing ecosystem has been explored using Ocean Floor Observation and Bathymetry Systems.
The navigational tool of fish is warm water
A bathymetry system is a bulky camera device that records photos, videos, and takes measurements of deep-sea habitats. Researchers were initially interested in this area because of a process called upwelling that brings cold water to the surface by wind and currents. This makes the water warmer than the surrounding area. Purser said the fish could use this warm water as a navigational tool to locate their colony.
Largest icefish colony ever
He said that when they wish to breed, they seek this warm water and breed there. This colony of icefish is the largest ever found, extending more than 150 miles (240 km) above sea level. The sheer size of the colony suggests that the entire Weddell Sea ecosystem is influenced by such houses. Purser said it is highly likely that seals are the home of these fish’s nests.