What do Prince William and an Australian Museum scientist have in common?

The answer - they both have links to Paxton's Whipnose, Gigantactis paxtoni, a truly spectacular fish that swims upsidedown as it searches for prey in the dark waters of the deepsea.

<i>Gigantactis paxtoni </i>
Gigantactis paxtoni holotype I.20314-018 Image: Mark Allen
© Australian Museum

This amazing looking deepsea species was named in honour of Australian Museum Senior Fellow Dr John Paxton.

Prince William was intrigued by this fish during his visit in 2010.  The fish he is holding in the image is the same specimen as that shown in the video.

The person with Prince William in the second image is CSIRO scientist Dr Alan Williams, a regular Australian Museum visitor who just happens to be collaborating with John Paxton on a review of the lanternfishes of Australia.

In the video, I talk about Paxton's Whipnose. The video was shown as part of a presentation given during my visit to Japan in 2013.