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Mysteries of the Deep Sea August 4, 2006

Posted by ionicflux in Science.
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The deep sea is one of the “harshest habitats” on Earth, but is home to many remarkable creatures.

Here are some primitive-like creatures that still exist and can be found in the deep sea.

oceancreatures_1.jpg

 

(a)Annelid Worm
Nereis species found at a deep-sea vent.
(b)Piglet Squid

Perhaps a species of Helicocranchia. Its cartoon-character appearance is a result of its habit of swimming upside down, which makes its tentacles look like hair.

(c)Dumbo Octopus

Stauroteuthis syrtensis, a deep-sea cirrate octopus. Also known as the Dumbo octopus due to the ear-like fins above the eyes. One of only two octopus species known to bioluminesce, it swims in a bell shape at depths of up to 4000 metres in the North Atlantic.

(d)Cirrate Octopod

Probably Vampyroteuthis infernalis, meaning “vampire squid from hell”. It has a skirt-like skin membrane around its legs, and ear-like fins above the eyes. It is covered in light-producing organs called photophores, which generate a bluish light that makes it difficult to see against the faint light from the sky.

(e)Deep Sea Physonect

A siphonophore from the Arctic Ocean, related to jellyfish. Each polyp along the orange stalk is an individual animal, and the colony swims as the individuals undulate their bodies. The colony is bioluminescent, and the orange “flames” at the base of the structure are feeding tentacles.

 

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