Siphonophores are colonial gelatinous animals related to corals, hydroids, and true jellyfish. This deep-sea species, Erenna richardi, was observed at 1560 meters depth using ROV Doc Ricketts. 
A different species of Erenna was discovered by MBARI scientists to attract prey using red bioluminescent lures:  read more here
(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)
Siphonophores are colonial gelatinous animals related to corals, hydroids, and true jellyfish. This deep-sea species, Erenna richardi, was observed at 1560 meters depth using ROV Doc Ricketts.

A different species of Erenna was discovered by MBARI scientists to attract prey using red bioluminescent lures:  read more here

(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

When Fish Go Deeper They Glow Brighter
by Stephanie Pappas
Deep-diving fish have a problem: The only light that penetrates their watery environment is blue and green — hardly enough of a palette for flashy color patterns.

Now, a new study reveals these fishes’ solution: In deep water, fish simply fluoresce more — a technique that allows them to convert blue-green light into red light.

"Under light conditions that do not provide the full spectrum — the full rainbow of colors that we have at the surface — it’s really nice to have fluorescence, because you can still have those missing colors,” said study researcher Nico Michiels, a professor at the University of Tüebingen in Germany…
(read more: Discovery Science)
image via: AMNH

When Fish Go Deeper They Glow Brighter

by Stephanie Pappas

Deep-diving fish have a problem: The only light that penetrates their watery environment is blue and green — hardly enough of a palette for flashy color patterns.

Now, a new study reveals these fishes’ solution: In deep water, fish simply fluoresce more — a technique that allows them to convert blue-green light into red light.

"Under light conditions that do not provide the full spectrum — the full rainbow of colors that we have at the surface — it’s really nice to have fluorescence, because you can still have those missing colors,” said study researcher Nico Michiels, a professor at the University of Tüebingen in Germany…

(read more: Discovery Science)

image via: AMNH

OCEAN SCIENCE: Biology of Brine Pools and Methane Seeps

One of our objectives in exploring the “New America” is to characterize the biology in some of the most extreme environments in the Gulf of Mexico, and that means visiting two of our favorite geological features - a brine pool and a methane seep. Neither site disappointed, and the mussels and tube worms we saw were stunning.

(via: EVNautilus)

The cock-eyed squid, Histioteuthis heteropsis, gets its name from the different sized eyes it has. It is thought that the larger eye detects faint light that filters down from above, and the smaller one spots bioluminescence generated in the deep water below. The spots all over the squid’s skin are photophores - or light organs - perhaps used to mask its silhouette from predators and prey.

(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

Absurd Creature of the Week:  Carnivorous Harp Sponge
by Matt Simon
If you were a sea creature and you wanted to form a band, you’d have some tough decisions to make. Who should take vocals: dolphins or whales? And what about the drums? Presumably it’d be some sort of cephalopod, what with all those arms, but would it play on giant clams or brain corals? And good luck finding stringed instruments, unless you want to risk anaphylactic shock and strum some jellyfish.
But if you can manage it, plunge to around 10,000 feet deep and you’ll find your strings anchored right to the seafloor. This is the 3-foot-wide harp sponge, and there’s nothing quite like it on the planet. It’s hardly even a sponge as we would recognize it, having left behind the filter-feeding lifestyle and become a carnivore, passively nabbing tiny critters unlucky enough to float through its strings. Think SpongeBob SquarePants, only without the pants and with way more murder.
The remarkable image above is from 2012 when scientists, including marine biologist Henry Reiswig of British Columbia’s University of Victoria, collected two specimens and observed 10 more off the California coast using two remotely operated vehicles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. At such depths, though, collecting good specimens is exceedingly difficult because it can take hours to return to the surface…
(read more: Wired Science)
image: MBARI

Absurd Creature of the Week:  Carnivorous Harp Sponge

by Matt Simon

If you were a sea creature and you wanted to form a band, you’d have some tough decisions to make. Who should take vocals: dolphins or whales? And what about the drums? Presumably it’d be some sort of cephalopod, what with all those arms, but would it play on giant clams or brain corals? And good luck finding stringed instruments, unless you want to risk anaphylactic shock and strum some jellyfish.

But if you can manage it, plunge to around 10,000 feet deep and you’ll find your strings anchored right to the seafloor. This is the 3-foot-wide harp sponge, and there’s nothing quite like it on the planet. It’s hardly even a sponge as we would recognize it, having left behind the filter-feeding lifestyle and become a carnivore, passively nabbing tiny critters unlucky enough to float through its strings. Think SpongeBob SquarePants, only without the pants and with way more murder.

The remarkable image above is from 2012 when scientists, including marine biologist Henry Reiswig of British Columbia’s University of Victoria, collected two specimens and observed 10 more off the California coast using two remotely operated vehicles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. At such depths, though, collecting good specimens is exceedingly difficult because it can take hours to return to the surface…

(read more: Wired Science)

image: MBARI

Deep Sea Octopus

Dive 07, July 15, Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013

An octopus makes his way along the seafloor; note the siphon that is out and then retracted. Seen while exploring the western wall of Atlantis Canyon.

Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

scienceyoucanlove

realmonstrosities:

Bathyteuthis berryi is a deep sea squid that has been spotted carrying a gelatinous membrane full of 360 eggs in their tentacles.

Other squid attach their eggs to the sea floor and leave, never to see them again. Either that or they produce an overwhelmingly huge number of floating eggs and hope a few survive.

For a food-starved squid living far above the ocean floor, neither option is viable, so it’ll have to be the old “carry a big, mucusy net of children” strategy.

This is just the second squid to be seen carrying out any form of parental care, but it may be quite common in the deeps. You just have to be in the right place at the right time to see it!

More in this video by MBARI.

montereybayaquarium

montereybayaquarium:

Missed the start of #CephalopodWeek? 

Catch up with this cephalopod video triple feature from Science Friday! Get a glimpse behind the scenes of the Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and see how we culture cuttlefish and study mysterious vampire squid.

Watch the videos

But wait—there’s more! Tune in to Science Friday tomorrow—part of the radio broadcast will feature the ocean’s most mysterious multi-armed family.

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)