Antarctica Icefish Breeding Colony Discovered

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20 January 2022 Current Affairs:Deep-sea scientists discovered an icefish breeding colony in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea. The icefish’s scientific name is Neopagrtopsis ionah.

Highlights:

  • In February 2021, the species was discovered. Their breeding nests, on the other hand, were only recently discovered.
  • The ice fish’s blood is transparent in color. They have no red blood cells. They lack hemoglobin, which is required to transport oxygen.
  •  It’s a form of evolutionary adaptation as they take in oxygen via their skin and have enormous hearts. They were discovered at depths ranging from 90 to 200 meters.

IceFish Nests

  • The nests were a foot across. Each nest contained thousands of eggs. Until the eggs hatch, the males protect the nests from predators such as starfish. 
  • The males also tidy the nests from time to time. They clean the nests with their elongated jaw. A single male ice fish guards each nest. 
  • Sixty million active nests are covering 92 sq miles in the Antarctic sea. This is the world’s largest discovered fish breeding colony. 
  • These nests contained 60,000 tonnes of fish biomass. The nests are more than three-quarters of a meter in length. 
  • The scientists found another patch of nests about 31 miles away from the current breeding site.
  • Those nests had been abandoned. Corals and sponges have taken over these spaces. The ice fish nests were discovered in a warm body of water. 
  • The scientists found this to be unusual and strange. The water temperature here has been 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

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