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A video observation of a deep-sea tripodfish (Aulopiformes: Bathypterois) taken from a remotely-operated vehicle at a depth of 1443 m in the Campos Basin, Brazil is analysed for swimming and landing movements. The observed specimen is identified here as Bathypteroisgrallator, and this record is the first video observation of a tripodfish exhibiting periodic swimming followed by landing in a resting position on deep-sea substrate which we interpret as ‘bathypteroiform’ movement, a locomotive mode unique to taxa within Bathypterois. This observation describes the functional role of the fins associated with landing, including independent movements of the elongated fin ray elements. The specimen is observed to display subcarangiform body and/or caudal fin movement while swimming in a periodic state. Prior to landing, the specimen is observed to raise its elongated caudal fin element parallel to the body, a behaviour that has not been described previously. Following contact of the elongated pelvic fin elements with the deep-sea floor, the elongated caudal fin element is independently lowered, completing the tripod stance typically observed. © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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Marine Biology Research

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