Marine surveys off the coast of Scotland have captured a glimpse of the rarely seen amphixious — a brainless, faceless fish considered to be one of the first creatures to evolve a backbone over half a billion years ago.
The fish has a primitive spinal chord and appears to have scales, but lacks fins. So what we have folks is a brainless, faceless and finless critter on our hands. It doesn't seem to have a lot going for it, so what do we know about it?
The answer is we don't know much. Presumably scientists need to learn more about the amphixious since it is so rare. Reports didn't indicate how it eats, moves or breeds — all things I'm darn curious about now that I've seen him…her… it. I'm hoping plans are in place to study the amphixious further.
The shy, prehistoric link was found during surveys of the Orkney Islands, a 70-island chain off the coast of Scotland. Scientists used acoustic scanners and high definition cameras to get a picture of the wildlife that might be lurking at the depths that can reach up to 200 feet in depth.
Other rare finds from the survey included giant mussels with shells over 18 inches wide, brightly colored flame shells, and the Northern Feather Star with 10 feather like arms coming out of one central disk.
The Scottish government and the wildlife community heralded the finds. Both see the results of the survey as a way to highlight the diversity of the waters off the coast and call for the need to preserve the valuable eco-system.
I'm all for preserving the eco-system and finding out more about these strange sea creatures. Especially the homely amphixious who has a lot of secrets to tell us. I can't help but wonder though if we couldn't take a day and drag those acoustic scanners and high-definition cameras up to Loch Ness and look for the amphixious' even more elusive cousin Nessie.
C'mon Nessie, with amphixious out of hiding it's time for your close up!