HEY KIDS:  Make a Vampyroteuthis Hat!
The Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis)
The vampire squid is a member of the class Cephalopoda. Cephalopods are a large group of soft-bodied marine invertebrates that include squid, octopuses, cuttlefish,and nautiluses.
While vampire squid may look like squid and octopus in some ways, they are much more primitive, closely resembling fossils more than 250 million-years-old. In spite of their scary-sounding name, vampire squid are delicate, slow-moving creatures that drift along in the dark, cold layer of the ocean called the oxygen-minimum zone.
Organisms have a hard time surviving in this environment because of the low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water. As a result,there are few predators and even fewer organisms that vampire squid can prey upon. They feed primarily on tiny particles of organic material that drift down from the ocean surface,a substance sometimes called“marine snow.” Vampire squid capture this organic material using a long, sticky feeding filament similar to a fishing line, then slurp off the bits and pieces that get stuck to it…
(Go here to print out your hat: Science Friday)

HEY KIDS:  Make a Vampyroteuthis Hat!

The Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis)

The vampire squid is a member of the class Cephalopoda. Cephalopods are a large group of soft-bodied marine invertebrates that include squid, octopuses, cuttlefish,and nautiluses.

While vampire squid may look like squid and octopus in some ways, they are much more primitive, closely resembling fossils more than 250 million-years-old. In spite of their scary-sounding name, vampire squid are delicate, slow-moving creatures that drift along in the dark, cold layer of the ocean called the oxygen-minimum zone.

Organisms have a hard time surviving in this environment because of the low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water. As a result,there are few predators and even fewer organisms that vampire squid can prey upon. They feed primarily on tiny particles of organic material that drift down from the ocean surface,a substance sometimes called“marine snow.” Vampire squid capture this organic material using a long, sticky feeding filament similar to a fishing line, then slurp off the bits and pieces that get stuck to it…

(Go here to print out your hat: Science Friday)

Pelagic parenting: A deep-sea squid broods its eggs

Reproduction is one of the many challenges faced by deep-sea animals. In recent years, submersibles have allowed scientists to explore the lives of deep-sea animals in ways that were not possible before.

One of the many exciting discoveries was that a mother of the deep-sea squid species Gonatus onyx broods her eggs by holding them in her arms, a behavior that had never been previously reported for squids. This shocking discovery was the first time scientists had evidence of parental care in squids.

In 2012, a team of researchers led by Stephanie Bush, reported finding another species of deep-sea squid that broods eggs, Bathyteuthis berryi, suggesting that this form of parental care may be a common solution to a reproductive problem for deep-sea squids.

Publication:
Bush, S. L., Hoving, H. J. T., Huffard, C. L., Robison, B. R., & L. D. Zeidberg. 2012. Brooding and sperm storage by the deep-sea squid Bathyteuthis berryi (Cephalopoda: Decapodiformes). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 92(7):1629-1636.

(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Cirrothauma murrayi is a cirrate octopus found in very deep waters and is known from the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. This one was seen at 2755 m near the deepest parts of Monterey Canyon. This individual is the only one ever observed with MBARI’s Remotely Operated Vehicles. C. murrayi is virtually blind. The eyes have no lens and are embedded within the gelatinous tissue of the head with no connection to the surface.
  L:  C. murrayi is seen with its arms lifted up over its head revealing the cirri (finger-like projections used to capture food) along the arms. 

R:  In this image, you can see that body is gelatinous and that the eyes do not protrude through the surface of the skin.

Cirrothauma murrayi is a cirrate octopus found in very deep waters and is known from the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. This one was seen at 2755 m near the deepest parts of Monterey Canyon. This individual is the only one ever observed with MBARI’s Remotely Operated Vehicles. C. murrayi is virtually blind. The eyes have no lens and are embedded within the gelatinous tissue of the head with no connection to the surface.


L:  C. murrayi is seen with its arms lifted up over its head revealing the cirri (finger-like projections used to capture food) along the arms.
R:  In this image, you can see that body is gelatinous and that the eyes do not protrude through the surface of the skin.
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
A squid flashes in front of Seirios during the Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011 on board NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Large schools of squid were commonly seen in the ‘twilight zone’ on descent and ascent of the remotely operated vehicles during the expedition. This expedition marked the debut of the Seirios camera sled and lighting platform. Fans of Okeanos live video will appreciate how Seirios illuminates another remotely operated vehicle from above, providing an expanded view of the ROV as well as enhancing visibility in the surrounding areas. Learn more about Seirios: NOAA Ocean Explorer

A squid flashes in front of Seirios during the Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011 on board NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Large schools of squid were commonly seen in the ‘twilight zone’ on descent and ascent of the remotely operated vehicles during the expedition.

This expedition marked the debut of the Seirios camera sled and lighting platform. Fans of Okeanos live video will appreciate how Seirios illuminates another remotely operated vehicle from above, providing an expanded view of the ROV as well as enhancing visibility in the surrounding areas.

Learn more about Seirios: NOAA Ocean Explorer

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Our colleague Chris Mah at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History recently described new species of deep-sea starfish, including one named for MBARI’s ROV Tiburon, which collected the specimen.

Click the link to read more about these new species: http://www.echinoblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-hippest-post-you-know-new.html

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Yesterday, the benthic biology group used ROV Doc Ricketts to explore the northeast portion of Sur Ridge, which is located between Monterey Canyon and Sur Canyon. The ridge is covered with a stunning array of deep-sea corals, sponges, and other deep-sea invertebrates and fish. Researchers reported observing at least 8 different species of corals, the most abundant being the large bubblegum coral (Paragorgia arborea). Today, they are exploring the southern side of the ridge.

Read more about the dives at Sur Ridge on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s blog:

Sanctuary Simon

David Shale’s Amazing Photographs of Deep Sea Creatures 

David Shale has captured thousands of creatures from deep water, here’s how he does it     

by Dan Richards

David Shale has been filming and photographing these creatures of the deep for nearly four decades, for both scientific research as well as TV nature programs. His experiences give him a long perspective on the advances in photography and exploration of this strange undersea world.

Shale, who holds a doctoral degree in marine biology, began photographing deep-sea animals in the 1970s for the U.K.-based Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (now the National Oceanography Centre). He left to become a wildlife filmmaker, but the two paths merged in the 1990s when The Blue Planet, the BBC oceanography series, took him on as a cinematographer…

(read more: Pop Photo.com)

The blacktail snailfish, Careproctus melanurus, lives on muddy bottoms generally below 400 meters. They are known to eat small crustaceans, shrimps, hermit crabs, and amphipods. Its off-white to pale rose colored body and black fin edges and tail make it easily recognizable. They have a small pelvic disc which is used to attach to animals like tanner crabs, and we even see them attached to research equipment!
(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

The blacktail snailfish, Careproctus melanurus, lives on muddy bottoms generally below 400 meters. They are known to eat small crustaceans, shrimps, hermit crabs, and amphipods. Its off-white to pale rose colored body and black fin edges and tail make it easily recognizable. They have a small pelvic disc which is used to attach to animals like tanner crabs, and we even see them attached to research equipment!

(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

Deep Sea Squid Encounter

Okeanos Explorer EX1402L3: Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition
April 24, 2012: Squid

Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

palaeopedia
palaeopedia:

The giant Isopod, Bathynomus giganteus (1879)
Phylum : ArthropodaSubphylum : CrustaceaClass : MalacostracaOrder : IsopodaSuborder : CymothoidaFamily : CirolanidaeGenus : Bathynomus (- about 16 other species)Species : B. giganteus
Least concern
50 cm long and 1,4 kg (size)
Gulf of Mexico (map)
B. giganteus reaches an average length between 19 and 36 centimetres, with a maximum weight and length of approximately 1.7 kilograms and 76 centimetres respectively. Giant isopods are a good example of deep-sea gigantism. Though most other species of Bathynomus apparently are smaller, they are nevertheless far larger than the “typical” isopods that range in size from 1 to 5 centimetres.
Their morphology resembles that of their terrestrial cousin, the woodlouse: their bodies are dorso-ventrally compressed, protected by a rigid, calcareous exoskeleton composed of overlapping segments. Like the woodlouse, they also possess the ability to curl up into a “ball”, where only the tough shell is exposed. This provides protection from predators trying to strike at the more vulnerable underside. The first shell segment is fused to the head; the most posterior segments are often fused as well, forming a “caudal shield” over the shortened abdomen (pleon). The large eyes are compound with nearly 4,000 facets, sessile and spaced far apart on the head. There are two pairs of antennae.
The uniramous thoracic legs or pereiopods are arranged in seven pairs, the first of which are modified into maxillipeds to manipulate and bring food to the four sets of jaws. The abdomen has five segments called pleonites each with a pair of biramous pleopods; these are modified into natatory legs and rami, flat respiratory structures acting as gills. The isopods are a pale lilac in colour.

palaeopedia:

The giant Isopod, Bathynomus giganteus (1879)

Phylum : Arthropoda
Subphylum : Crustacea
Class : Malacostraca
Order : Isopoda
Suborder : Cymothoida
Family : Cirolanidae
Genus : Bathynomus (- about 16 other species)
Species : B. giganteus

  • Least concern
  • 50 cm long and 1,4 kg (size)
  • Gulf of Mexico (map)

B. giganteus reaches an average length between 19 and 36 centimetres, with a maximum weight and length of approximately 1.7 kilograms and 76 centimetres respectively. Giant isopods are a good example of deep-sea gigantism. Though most other species of Bathynomus apparently are smaller, they are nevertheless far larger than the “typical” isopods that range in size from 1 to 5 centimetres.

Their morphology resembles that of their terrestrial cousin, the woodlouse: their bodies are dorso-ventrally compressed, protected by a rigid, calcareous exoskeleton composed of overlapping segments. Like the woodlouse, they also possess the ability to curl up into a “ball”, where only the tough shell is exposed. This provides protection from predators trying to strike at the more vulnerable underside. The first shell segment is fused to the head; the most posterior segments are often fused as well, forming a “caudal shield” over the shortened abdomen (pleon). The large eyes are compound with nearly 4,000 facets, sessile and spaced far apart on the head. There are two pairs of antennae.

The uniramous thoracic legs or pereiopods are arranged in seven pairs, the first of which are modified into maxillipeds to manipulate and bring food to the four sets of jaws. The abdomen has five segments called pleonites each with a pair of biramous pleopods; these are modified into natatory legs and rami, flat respiratory structures acting as gills. The isopods are a pale lilac in colour.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)
 
Over the course of Earth’s history, many marine animals have made extraordinary habitat transitions to and from the deep sea. To accomplish this, animals have evolved the ability to handle a wide range of conditions, in the same way that humans can live in the desert or the Arctic — except without clothes or technology, and at pressures of 3000 pounds per square inch, with limited food and oxygen. The ctenophore - Bolinopsis infundibulum is a good example. The Zooplankton Lab, led by Steve Haddock, collects this species near the surface on SCUBA dives and as deep as 2,000 meters using the ROV. With collaborators Erik Thuesen and Joseph Ryan, they are studying the mechanisms that allowed this evolutionary shift of metabolic capabilities to occur. Haddock and his colleagues compare physiology, proteins, and gene expression of individuals from the extremes of their depth range. This work gives insight to the genetic mechanisms of deep-sea adaptation across the diversity of life.

 

Over the course of Earth’s history, many marine animals have made extraordinary habitat transitions to and from the deep sea. To accomplish this, animals have evolved the ability to handle a wide range of conditions, in the same way that humans can live in the desert or the Arctic — except without clothes or technology, and at pressures of 3000 pounds per square inch, with limited food and oxygen.

The ctenophore - Bolinopsis infundibulum is a good example. The Zooplankton Lab, led by Steve Haddock, collects this species near the surface on SCUBA dives and as deep as 2,000 meters using the ROV. With collaborators Erik Thuesen and Joseph Ryan, they are studying the mechanisms that allowed this evolutionary shift of metabolic capabilities to occur. Haddock and his colleagues compare physiology, proteins, and gene expression of individuals from the extremes of their depth range. This work gives insight to the genetic mechanisms of deep-sea adaptation across the diversity of life.