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Antarctic fishes


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Antarctic fishes


All photos are copyrighted. Please request permission before copying or using photos. Thank you.

Paul Cziko, at right, and friend.

Paul Cziko, at right, and friend.

A single lineage of fishes, the Antarctic notothenioids, dominates the frigid and icy waters around Antarctica. They survive by virtue of special antifreeze proteins that bind to and arrest the growth of ice crystals that invade their bodies.

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Juvenile nototheniid fish on anchor ice
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Diving McMurdo Sound


Diving McMurdo Sound


Finding and observing polar fishes sometimes requires diving in 28 ˚F (-2 ˚C) water through 21 foot (6.5 m)-thick sea ice. With a drysuit, it's not as cold as it looks.

Think it is safe to cross this crack? Paul and Lauren. 
Into the abyss. Paul and Lauren. 
Paul and Lauren prepare for a dive. 

Paul and Lauren prepare for a dive. 

Paul with a frozen diving downline in a chilly 'Apple'.
Katie et al. drilling a dive hole.
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Underwater landscapes


Underwater landscapes


The way out. 

The way out. 

Otherworldly landscapes greet the SCUBA diver below the sea ice of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

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Looking up


Looking up


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Paul and ice


Paul and ice


Myriad forms of ice - solid water - shroud the earth's polar regions.

Paul pulling an instrument up from the depths.
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McMurdo Sound Antarctica


McMurdo Sound Antarctica


McMurdo Sound, at about 78˚ S. latitude, is the highest latitude regularly-accessible marine environment in the Southern Hemisphere.

Ice fishing, Antarctic style. 

Ice fishing, Antarctic style. 

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Paul in the fish lab at Scott Base.

Paul in the fish lab at Scott Base.

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antarctic toothfish


antarctic toothfish


Some populations of the large Antarctic Toothfish, Dissostichus mawsoni (a.k.a. Chilean Seabass), are under threat from commercial exploitation.

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On top of the ice


On top of the ice


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Paul Cziko, at left.

Paul Cziko, at left.

Antarctic field work is fraught with difficulty. How would you catch a fish hiding under 21 feet (6.5 m) of sea ice?

The Man, the Legend, Dr. Art DeVries.

The Man, the Legend, Dr. Art DeVries.

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Bubbles


Bubbles


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Underwater ice


Underwater ice


In McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, subfreezing seawater drives the growth of ice on the sea floor, creating special challenges for the resident animals. 

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End of the line


End of the line