Yesterday, Dr. Steve Haddock’s lab embarked on a Western Flyer expedition to study the diversity of gelatinous animals in the deep midwater. Documenting the diverse assemblage of animals in the deep ocean will help answer questions about their evolution and will help us understand large-scale changes to the deep-ocean ecosystem.
Here are some examples of the unique animals they have seen on just their first ROV dive. Clockwise from top: Phronima sedentaria is clear amphipod that eats the inside out of a salp and lays its eggs in the left-over barrel. This cydippid with red tentacles is yet to be described by scientists. The siphonophore Apolemia sp. can qet to be many feet long. Three of the scientists on board the cruise have submitted a paper describing this species. Bargmannia amoena is a beautiful orange/red siphonophore.