Showing posts tagged as "mbari"
Battle of the (tiny) titans: five-inch squid attacks owlfish. Owlfish definitely loses!
Here’s the full story, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s expedition blog:
“Most of the time we spend flying through the midwater with the ROV, we see a whole lot of marine snow. Every once in a while we see something that makes us all stop and say - WOW! Yesterday was one of those days! This small squid, Gonatus onyx, managed to catch this large owlfish and despite its eyes being too big for its stomach, it was determined to win the battle!”
Follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute on Facebook for more amazing deep-sea stories.
Seen any of these creatures lately? We doubt it, since they live thousands of feet underwater! They’re just a sample of the amazing, deep-sea animals found on the recent Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) Midwater Ecology Expedition, which is documenting the effects of declining oxygen concentrations on midwater communities.
Animals living on the abyssal plains, miles below the ocean surface, don’t usually get much to eat. Their main source of food is ”marine snow”—a slow drift of mucus, fecal pellets, and body parts—that sinks down from the surface waters. However, researchers have long been puzzled by the fact that, over the long term, the steady fall of marine snow cannot account for all the food consumed by animals and microbes living in the sediment. A new paper by MBARI researcher Ken Smith and his colleagues shows that population booms of algae or animals near the sea surface can sometimes result in huge pulses of organic material sinking to the deep seafloor. In a few weeks, such deep-sea “feasts” can deliver as much food to deep-sea animals as would normally arrive over years or even decades of typical marine snow.
This #Halloween, we think you’ll agree: the eyes definitely have it!
Fifteen-foot white shark bites robot? Now that’s a battle of the titans! An underwater research robot from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute recently came back with shark teeth embedded in its aluminum hull.
This underwater robot, known as Tethys, just came back from two continuous weeks at sea, helping MBARI scientists monitor harmful algal blooms as part of the Fall 2013 CANON experiment. When MBARI engineers pulled the long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (LR-AUV) from the water they discovered large scrapes on its sides. Based on the gape of the bite mark, shark expert Dave Ebert from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories estimates that it was a 15-foot-long white shark that attacked the AUV!
Learn more by following MBARI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MBARInews
Getting in the Halloween spirit yet? Behold this week’s #WeirdWednesday photo: the shiny loosejaw! Unearth more ocean mysteries by following the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute on Facebook!
This fish is from the family dragonfishes, and lives in pelagic waters to depths up to 1,200 meters (almost 4,000 feet). It has red light organs, or photophores, beneath its eyes. Red luminescence is rare in the deep sea and most deep-sea animals can not see red light. The shiny loosejaw can see red - essentially providing themselves with their own night vision goggles! It also has a long chin barbel for luring prey.
It’s #WeirdWednesday! Behold the “sea pig,” a deep-ocean sea cucumber that eats seafloor mud, along with small animals and microbes that live in the stuff. They move slowly but gracefully and can form large “herds” that migrate across the seafloor.
This species is commonly known as the “bumpy jelly,” due to warts that cover the organism. These warts contain concentrated amounts of stinging nematocysts. Follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute on Facebook for great glimpses of deep-sea creatures!
© 2003 MBARI
Here’s lookin’ at you! Follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute on their recent Midwater Ecology Expedition, documenting the effects of declining oxygen concentrations on ocean communities. You’ll meet some interesting critters!
The sort-of gross diet of the “vampire squid from hell”
Our colleagues at MBARI – the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute – have been sharing videos and stories about the vampire squid for years. We in turn have been sharing them with visitors during our daily Mysteries of the Deep auditorium program.
Now MBARI researchers have solved the mystery of what these unusual deep-sea animals eat. It’s a fascinating tale, with a high gross-out factor – if you’re easily grossed out by animals that eat corpses, feces and mucus.
Turns out that the vampire squid, an ancient animal with characteristics of both squids and octopus, lives in a low-oxygen zone where living prey is scarce. But there’s an abundance of marine snow raining down, consisting largely of poop, dead bodies and mucus discarded by other ocean life.
So, unlike all other known cephalopod species, it hangs out, waiting for this manna to sink down, where it traps the goodies on filament-like tentacles, wraps them in mucus and gobbles it up.
This despite a Latin name (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) that translates as “vampire squid from hell.”
Not as charming as the cast of Twilight, perhaps. But a mystery of the deep – solved.