deep sea

This tag is associated with 16 posts
Satellite image of the Mertz Glacier Tongue just after breaking off from the glacier. Image from NASA Earth Observatory.

Antarctica’s bottom waters freshen up

A team of researchers went back to the same part of Antarctic after a decade to see how the deep ocean had changed, and were surprised to find the deep ocean was fresher than they expected.

Image 2: a) sea pen and b) hermit crab in their habitat before being collected taken by Taylor, ML.  c) polyester microfibre and d) acrylic microfibre found within deep sea animals, taken by Gwinnet, C.  (Figure used with permission from Taylor et al., 2016).

First evidence of plastic microfibre consumption by deep-sea animals

For the first time ever, scientists have found evidence that deep sea animals are actually consuming plastic microfibres. Read more about the study and why we should care.

The Greenland shark has recently be recognized as the longest-lived vertebrate on Earth [Flickr].

Long-lived sharks challenge ageing theory

Greenland sharks can live to be over 400 years old. What can they tell us about ageing?

Figure 2: Close up of a sea pig, a holothurian animal closely related to a sea cucumber, with our curious hitchhiker just visible on the underside. Source: Wikimedia Commons

When Pigs Get Crabs: A Story of Symbiosis

Excerpt: The deep sea is not an easy place to live. Cold, dark, and featureless, it doesn’t provide a lot of food or hiding spots for the animals that live there. Read on to find out the odd way one species of crab has evolved to avoid both problems!


Marine Halloween: Creepiest Looking Critters

In honor of our Marine Halloween theme, this month I’ll be presenting my picks for the creepiest looking marine critters, à la Buzzfeed. Counting down from 5:

How Much Wood Can A Wood Boring Clam Bore?

How much wood could a wood boring clam bore if a wood boring clam was given a lot of different options of wood to bore? Not as catchy as the original, but check this article out to learn about how the type of wood that falls to the deep ocean influences the community of animals that comes to feast on it.

Happy Shark Week! Today we examine a persistent and interesting biogeographical puzzle: why are there so few deep sea sharks?

Why don’t sharks go deep?

Happy Shark Week! Today we examine a persistent and interesting biogeographical puzzle: why are there so few deep sea sharks?


12,000 feet under the sea, from space

A pair of scientists have figured out how to track deep ocean currents using gravity measurements from space.

Figure 3. Deep sea octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica). Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author: NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Photo also used as featured image.

Parenthood: The Most Rewarding Experience or The Ultimate Sacrifice?

Our human parents make a lot of sacrifices for us! They devote their time and energy, provide for us, invest in us (monetarily, sure, but also emotionally), nurture us, attempt to teach us, make career decisions with us in mind, and lose a lot of sleep worrying about us. However, in the marine world things can get much more extreme? Some animals make the ultimate sacrifice by literally dying to reproduce. Find out more about some of these marine creatures in today’s Oceanbites!


Decomposition in the Deep Sea

Whale carcasses that fall to the seafloor provide large amounts of food to deep-sea environments. Though ecologically important, little is known about whale falls and the communities they harbor in the vast Atlantic Ocean – all information comes from the Pacific. What happens to large mammals that sink to the bottom of the Atlantic and how does this impact communities there?


Staying ahead of commercial exploitation in the deep sea

The first seafloor massive sulfide mine in the Pacific is expected to begin commercial operation in 2017. Licenses have already been granted and environmental impact assessments conducted, but we know little about the marine communities surrounding sulfide deposits in the ocean. This study characterizes such communities in a future mining exploration site.

Figure 2. "Deep ocean!" PFASs shout. (picture from Hastings water works)

Pollutants have fun sliding downhill in submarine canyons!

Many of us believe that the deep ocean is pristine and not affected by any human activities; the fact that pollutants such as perfluoroalkyl substances can reach deep ocean gives us a warning sign. It was estimated that around 60 kg of these chemicals was transported during the sampling periods.

Schutte 4.27

Epic: sperm whales hunt squid

Bad environmental news can seem overwhelming at times. No matter how environmentally aware you are, you will still need to eat something and you will take up space that probably used to belong more to nature than it does now. So let’s take a moment to appreciate why it’s worth trying to conserve nature. Let’s talk about sperm whales pursuing squid in the deep oceans!

Figure 1: Rattail fish Coryphaenoides acrolepis. Image taken by MBARI (http://deepseanews.com/2009/08/simple-summer-recipes-for-dead-seafloor-carrion/)

Deep-sea Lights

Many different animals in the ocean produce light to communicate, especially in the darkness of the deep-sea. But how exactly do these animals produce their own light? Researchers studied the structure of a bioluminescent organ in rattail fishes to see how these fish begin to produce light.

Figure 1: Octopus (Graneledone boreopacifica) observed by ROPOS during cable route surveys between Endeavour Node and the north Regional Circulation Mooring (RCM) instrument platform at Endeavour Ridge, 20 September 2010, at depth 2327m. Credit: neptunecanada

Supermom of the depths: octopus guards its eggs for the longest period ever observed

Scientists found an octopus that guards its eggs for the longest period ever recorded. The super mother was filmed for 53 months and has produced the largest and most developed hatchlings known to date.

Fig 3: Snipe Eel (Nemichthys scolopaceus)

The Role of Eels in Deep Sea Food Webs

Humans have made amazing strides in exploring and understanding the world, and even the universe, around us; but right off the coast looms a large, mysterious entity: the deep sea. For as much as we know about coastal zones and the continental shelf, we know very little about the organisms, communities, and ecology of the deep. However, we are slowly piecing together information about deep sea species and expanding our knowledge of these systems. This includes recent research showing that eels found in oceanic rim ecosystems appear to be key links in the food chain, connecting surface waters to the deep sea.

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