ORKNEY, Scotland, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A marine survey around islands off Scotland has found a fish-like creature without a face or a brain, researchers said.
The creature and others were recorded during a government-backed survey of the waters around Scotland's coast, using underwater video and acoustic and 3D images, the BBC reported Wednesday.
The survey recorded the prehistoric "faceless and brainless" amphioxus off Orkney, scientists said.
The rarely seen species is considered a modern example of the first animals that evolved a backbone, with a primitive nerve cord down its back and no clearly defined face or brain.
Amphioxus and other seldom-seen species were described as "weird and wonderful" by Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead.
"The waters around Scotland are rich in such fascinating biodiversity and it's our responsibility to protect this fragile environment," he said. "That's why we have ramped up our marine survey work, with plans being prepared for new surveys in 2012 to further our knowledge of what lies beneath Scotland's seas."