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Pink Handfish With ‘WALKING’ Hands And Legs Has Been Discovered (Photos)

The Pink Handfish

Pink handfish with walking hands has been discovered for the first time in 22 years off the coast of Tasmania in Australia

Iexclusive News Nigeria reports that the handfish, which is only found in Australia, was discovered off the coast of Tasmania.

The species gets its name from its oversized “hands,” which it uses to “walk” along the seafloor in addition to swimming.

A diver last saw the handfish off the coast of Tasmania in 1999, and it has only been seen four times since then.

The species since then has been listed as endangered by the government.

Animal biologists have expressed concern for its future, but Australian researchers claim they have discovered it again, this time on a deep-sea camera recorded in a marine park.

Pink Handfish With 'WALKING' Hands And Legs Has Been Discovered (Photos)

The new footage depicts the fish in deeper, more open waters than it has previously inhabited.

Scientists had assumed the fish resided in shallow water in sheltered coves.

It was discovered at a depth of 150 meters (390 feet) off Tasmania’s wild south coast.

The pink handfish is one of 14 species of handfish found in Tasmania, an island off the coast of Australia.

“This is an exciting discovery and offers hope for the ongoing survival of pink handfish, as clearly they have a wider habitat and distribution than previously thought,”

Said lead researcher and marine biologist Neville Barrett, an associate professor at the University of Tasmania.

Barret’s team put a baited camera on the Tasman Fracture Marine Park’s seafloor in February to investigate the coral, lobster, and fish species down there.

Pink Handfish With 'WALKING' Hands And Legs Has Been Discovered (Photos)

The park is noted for a long fracture in the earth’s crust that has allowed marine life to be discovered at depths of almost 4,000 meters.

In October, a research assistant sifting through the tape claims to have noticed the strange species among the mass of larger creatures drawn to the bait.

“I was watching one of our rough videos and there was a little fish that popped up on this reef ledge that looked a bit odd.”

Said Ashlee Bastiaansen from the university’s Institute of Antarctic and Marine Studies.

“I had a closer look and you could see its little hands,” she told the ABC.

The recording shows the 15cm fish emerge from a ledge after being disturbed by a rock lobster.

“In that time it’s given us a great head-on piece of imagery … to categorically identify the species and measure its size,” Associate Prof Barrett told the ABC.

We’re quite excited to be able to use the range of techniques now and see how important these deeper habitats are for such a rare species.”

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