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An icefish colony discovered in Antarctica is world's largest known fish breeding ground

Published 11:01 AM ET, Thu January 13, 2022
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03 Icefish colony discovered in Antarctica is world's largest fish breeding ground03 Icefish colony discovered in Antarctica is world's largest fish breeding ground
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The discovery of the fish nests, made distinct from the muddy seabed by a circle of stones, was a surprise to the researchers. Alfred Wegener Institute/PS124 OFOBS Team
The fish were observed by using an Ocean Floor Observation and Bathymetry System, a camera sledge built to survey the seafloor of extreme environments -- like ice-covered seas. Alison Schaap
Deep sea biologist Autun Purser monitors images taken by the camera system, which is attached to the stern of the ship. It transmits pictures up to the deck as it's being towed. Tim Kalvelage
The nests were evenly spaced and typically guarded by one adult icefish. Alfred Wegener Institute/PS124 OFOBS Team
The research team was on board the German polar research vessel Polarstern. Tim Kalvelage/Alfred Wegener Institute
A sketch of one of the icefish by the lead author of the study, Autun Purser. Autun Purser
The researchers on board the Polarstern visited the Weddell Sea in February 2021. Ralph Timmermann
The icebreaker Polarstern has been exploring the Weddell Sea in Antarctica since the early 1980s. Tim Kalvelage
The Weddell Sea is home to some 2,000 seals, which may feast on the icefish. Mia Wege