That wraps up #Okeanos American Samoa expedition! Never fear, next expedition to explore Pacific MPAs starts March 7. We'll be back soon! pic.twitter.com/nTlBkF0NRG— NOAA Ocean Explorer (@oceanexplorer) March 1, 2017
Most of what I'll present here are animals, but in the deep regions of the ocean, single-celled organisms that are basically HUGE amoebas can develop fairly LARGE structures out of sediment. I've written about them here. Some are called xenophyophores but it turns out that there's a fair diversity of them.
Here's at least one structure observed on Utu Seamount at about 3030 meters!
those spines emerging off the edge makes it a deadly deep-sea umbrella!
Cnidarians are of course-those animals with stinging cells and radial symmetry. Jellyfish, sea anemones, hydras, hydroids and so on.They account for a huge diversity in deep-sea habitats!
This "cosmic jellyfish" has been making the rounds. Its been identified as Benthocodon hyalinus by my colleague Allen Collins at NMFS. It was observed on Utu Seamount at about 3006 meters!!
Dandelion siphonophore, seen at 2500m depth in Rose Atoll. #Okeanos back at Rose Atoll today, but starting at 700m. ROV on bottom in ~3hrs! pic.twitter.com/CXB4wnl4SQ— NOAA Ocean Explorer (@oceanexplorer) February 25, 2017
Probably the BIG, weird star of this leg was this BIZARRE blobby tree shaped thing! Turns out its a bizarre sea anemone in the family Aliciidae! Its tentacles had been withdrawn...
we saw one of these during the Marianas expedition LAST year! Which makes the one above a likely DIFFERENT species from the other one we saw which had yellow buttons rather than white ones..
Dr. Dave Pawson at the National Museum of Natural History was apparently stung by one of these (only 6 inches long) and reported that each of these buttons are batteries of STINGING cells which can cause painful stings that last for several hours!! (click here)
ROV scoop flipped one of these critters over & iIndividual gills (arrows) mean MONOPLACOPHORAN!— Carina M. Gsottbauer (@CarinaDSLR) February 24, 2017
~3800m, Utu Seamount, Samoa #okeanos pic.twitter.com/xKALOOeCtR
Octopus! So, of course we are always fond of cephalopods when they turn up! This white translucent octopus species was observed at least twice on the dive at relatively "shallow" depths between 380 and 400 m. This first shot was from Tau seamount.
Note that the webs of skin between the arms were translucent!
but for now, here's some striking "spiny-skinned" friends that I saw...
This funny beast which I think was in the Deimatidae? Note that as with many deep-sea sea cucumbers, the body wall was translucent and we can see the sediment eaten by the animal THROUGH the body wall!
I blogged about this genus of sea cucumber and the number of species there might in the world oceans!
Rewatching today's #okeanos dive:— Carina M. Gsottbauer (@CarinaDSLR) February 24, 2017
A sea cucumber singing the song of its people ;)
~3900m, Utu seamount, Samoa pic.twitter.com/EiIkoxCgRD
A sea urchin the family Pedinidae I think? Lovely greenish coloration!
The crab benefits from the protection and the zoanthid gets driven around by the crab for dispersion, food, etc.. Interesting commensalism!