Anyone else feeling a serious squee overload with this cutie? 🥰
This is the bigtail snailfish, Osteodiscus cascadiae. Typically found in deep waters from 1,900 to 3,000 meters (6,200 to 9,800 feet), these little snailfish only grow up to 8.5 centimeters (about three inches). These scaleless fishes are well-adapted to a variety of habitats, including rocky outcrops, the muddy seafloor, and even the midwater. They play an important role as prey and predator in many ecosystems. Most snailfish species are small and feed on tiny invertebrates, but larger species may prey upon other fishes. MBARI has observed over a dozen species of snailfish in the past 34 years of exploration. We suspect there are dozens more out there waiting to be discovered.