In a world first, the sex life of Antarctic Krill in the wild has been caught on camera revealing the shrimp-like creatures are able to mate deeper in the ocean than previously thought.

Scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division have used a deep-sea video camera to film swarms of krill 700 metres below the surface of the Southern Ocean off East Antarctica.

Krill Biologist, Dr So Kawaguchi, said the footage had revealed some surprising aspects of the private lives of krill.

“Up until now it was thought krill only lived and mated in the surface layer of the ocean, from 0–200 metres, but what this video shows is they are also inhabiting and mating in much deeper water,” Dr Kawaguchi said.

The camera was deployed between 400–700 metres at 16 stations off East Antarctic in January last year. At 14 of these, krill were seen in high densities.

“After trawling through hours of video we noticed in one segment, filmed at 507 metres depth, a frenzied twirling of three krill, which turned out to be two males pursuing one female,” he said.