19.06.2017 – Deepsea predator – Black Scabbardfish
Our morning trip was a great start in the week. Already 20 min after leaving the marina of Calheta, Stenella found an active school of Atlantic Spotted dolphins (thanks to our spotter on land). The animals were socialising and swimming thight together. Dolphin species in general show complex group structures and only on rare situations, we see animals on their own. Life in a pod seems to be a good protection against predators and of course the young animals need to learn from other, adult ones. Also for chasing prey, it is more successful when hunting together. Some of the Atlantic spotted dolphins were curious and followed us jumping out high. Wonderful moments!!
Afterwards we stopped by close to a little fishing boat (Black scabbard fisher). The fishermen were hauling inboard their longlines. Colourful Black scabbard fish were taken out of the water manually and put on deck. This deepsea predator fish lives in depths of more than 1200 m and is feeding on small fish. The original bodycolour changes from copper to black, when the fish got hauled to the surface (due to the fast changes of water pressure). Observing the scabbard from close, we could see the big eyes and a big mouth with long teeth. The fish can reach a body size up to 1,5 m.
by Astrid Haas
Sightings of the day:
09.00: Atlantic spotted dolphins