Two Tiny Isopods Riding On Tripod Fish
This tripod fish we spotted in the Anegada Passage had some hangers-on: two tiny isopods. Tripod fish are quite a strange species. Because currents right along the ocean floor are much slower than those a few feet above it, they get an advantage by using their modified fins as stilts they can get high enough to face into those currents and get enough food. It also helps them survive in very extreme conditions - they live in complete darkness with high pressure and cold temperatures, so adaptations like this allow them to hunt without using much energy.
Within the Caribbean region, numerous unexplored seamounts punctuate the seafloor holding records of geologic, biologic and oceanographic processes over different time-scales. Seamounts are topographically and oceanographically complex with environmental characteristics that vary greatly and have often been suggested to be biodiversity hotspots, however, many of these hypotheses are only beginning to be explored in detail.