Corryn Wetzel is a writer.
The variegated snailfish is able to avoid freezing to death in icy waters by producing high levels of anti-freeze.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York has an expedition off the coast of eastern Greenland.
It feels like you are on another planet when you scuba dive in the cold. When they spotted the fish, it was hidden in a piece of an ice cube. The fish had to be doing something special to be able to live on the ice.Exploring the deep sea Helen Scales at New Scientist Live this October
The ability of the snailfish to bioluminesce shades of red and green caught the attention of the two men. When they looked at the fish's genetic material, they found that the species was hiding a trick.
The blood of the animal is more like a slushie than it is a frozen solid.
Some animals can survive partial freezing, but fish and mammals can not. The variegated snailfish has the highest expression of genes ever reported for a cold-water fish.
The team looked at the fish's genetic material and the animal's transcriptome to see what it was making.
According to Chi-Hing Christina Cheng, who was not involved in the work, she would like to see the team assess the levels of antifreeze in the fish's blood. It is not known how the snailfish's genes translate to its antifreeze ability.
The cold-water-loving species could be pushed out of their habitat if climate change leads to increased temperatures near the poles.
The melting landscape feels like a freezer that had been left open overnight, according to Gruber. It made us wonder what will happen to the fish when there aren't any. Its strength is not a strength anymore.
Evolutionary Bioinformatics was published in the journal.
Get a dose of climate optimism delivered straight to your inbox when you sign up for Fix the Planet.
There are more on this topic.