First Video of Living and Enormous Deep Sea Crustacean

Well, enormous for an Amphipod…

by Sandrine Ceurstemont

Living in one of the Earth’s deepest ocean trenches, the world’s largest species of amphipod has so far managed to avoid the videos of the paparazzi. But during an expedition to the Kermadec trench off the coast of New Zealand in April, Alan Jamieson from the University of Aberdeen, UK, and his colleagues filmed a living Alicella gigantean for the first time, more than 7 kilometres below the ocean surface.

The video captures a feeding frenzy of deep-sea snailfish, Notoliparis kermadecensis sociable fish that are well-adapted to the extreme pressure, total darkness and cold temperatures at such depths.

Cruising along the left-hand side of the video, the white shrimp-like creature is the newly spotted Alicella gigantea. It is between 20 and 25 centimetres long, 10 times larger than similar amphipods discovered in other deep-sea locations – although Jamieson previously snapped, but did not video, an even bigger one – a 34-centimetre giant…

(read more: New Scientist)

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
Here’s a fun Octopus fact:  You could say that octopods are royalty, since they literally have blue blood. Octopus blood contains the copper-rich protein hemocyanin, which is more efficient than the hemoglobin in our blood for oxygen transport at very low temperatures and low-oxygen concentrations. Long live the queen (or king)! (This purple octopus with was seen during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011 - via: NOAA Ecan Explorer)

Here’s a fun Octopus fact:  You could say that octopods are royalty, since they literally have blue blood. Octopus blood contains the copper-rich protein hemocyanin, which is more efficient than the hemoglobin in our blood for oxygen transport at very low temperatures and low-oxygen concentrations. Long live the queen (or king)!

(This purple octopus with was seen during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011 - via: NOAA Ecan Explorer)

The cock-eyed squid, Histioteuthis heteropsis, gets its name from the different sized eyes it has. It is thought that the larger eye is specialized to detect bioluminescence. The spots all over the squid’s skin are photophores - or light organs - perhaps used to mask its silhouette from predators and prey.
You can download more free wallpapers like this from the Monterey Bay Aquarium: here 
(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

The cock-eyed squid, Histioteuthis heteropsis, gets its name from the different sized eyes it has. It is thought that the larger eye is specialized to detect bioluminescence. The spots all over the squid’s skin are photophores - or light organs - perhaps used to mask its silhouette from predators and prey.

You can download more free wallpapers like this from the Monterey Bay Aquarium: here

(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

Science Friday:  Oarfish - The Ultimate Fish Tale

Thought to the be inspiration of “sea serpent” stories, the monstrously-long Oarfish provokes wonder in nearly all that witness it. Yet despite our fascination, little is known about this fish, its lifecycle and how it navigates its deep-sea environment. With help of a frozen specimen, CalState Assistant Professor Misty Paig-Tran provides us with a biomechanist insights into this real-life “sea monster’s” unusual physiology.

(via: SciFri)

NOAA:  Close encounters of the crabby kind! 
Squat lobster, seen in 2011 during the Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition.  In 1977, scientists discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vents and associated organisms on the Galápagos Rift, profoundly changing our view of the deep sea and revolutionizing the biological and Earth sciences. Our 2011 expedition provided scientists, engineers, and the public with an opportunity to explore unseen areas and revisit the rift sites that changed our view of life on Earth. Here’s a summary of all that was accomplished: 
NOAA Ocean Explorer

NOAA:  Close encounters of the crabby kind!

Squat lobster, seen in 2011 during the Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition.

In 1977, scientists discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vents and associated organisms on the Galápagos Rift, profoundly changing our view of the deep sea and revolutionizing the biological and Earth sciences. Our 2011 expedition provided scientists, engineers, and the public with an opportunity to explore unseen areas and revisit the rift sites that changed our view of life on Earth.

Here’s a summary of all that was accomplished:

NOAA Ocean Explorer

mad-as-a-marine-biologist

griseus:

A redeye gaper (Chaunax sp.) venting water at 240 meters depth. Seen during the Lophelia II 2008 expedition at the Green Canyon site in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gapers are Lophiiformes, in the anglerfish group, with big heads, a network of open sensory canals,and a lateral canal extending posteriorly along a compressed trunk and tail. They are sit-and-wait, ambush predators

First Live Observations of a Rarely Seen Deep Sea Anglerfish

by Dana Lacono (August, 2012)

With a bulbous body and spiky scales, a shaggy lure dangling from its head, and foot-like fins that it uses to “walk” along the seafloor, the deep-sea anglerfish Chaunacops coloratus looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

In a recent paper, MBARI researcher Lonny Lundsten and his coauthors describe the first observations of these rare fish in their natural, deep-sea habitat. In addition to documenting these fish walking on the seafloor and fishing with their built-in lures, the researchers discovered that the fish change color from blue to red as they get older.

C. coloratus was first described from a single specimen collected off the coast of Panama during an expedition in 1891 aboard the U.S. Fish Commission steamer Albatross. However, for over 100 years, marine researchers collected deep-sea fish using trawl nets and dredges, so this anglerfish was never seen alive. That changed in 2002, when researchers from MBARI, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary used the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Tiburon to explore Davidson Seamount—an extinct volcano off the coast of Central California…

(read more: 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)
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