Scientists find ‘supergiant’ from the deep

Date: February 3, 2012

Source: Kate Newton

From the depths of the Kermadec Trench, New Zealand scientists have retrieved the largest known examples of a creature that looks like a giant albino flea.

On a recent research trip to the trench to determine how far down fish could be found, staff from Niwa and the University of Aberdeen found “supergiant” amphipods – deep-sea scavengers that feed on dead material.

“When the first big trap came out, first of all we said, great, we’ve got five fish,” Niwa’s Ashley Rowden said.

“But then we looked and said, `What the hell is that?”‘

Not only were the amphipods a record size – the biggest was just over 28 centimetres – but they were found seven kilometres below the ocean’s surface, far deeper than before.

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