deep sea life

Seacat emailme
Thu Sep 24 17:50:13 EST 1998


Ms. Connolly,

According to the book "The Universe Below" by William J. Broad (pages 54
&
55), Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh in the Trieste (near the bottom of
the
Challanger Deep in the Marianas Trench) observed a foot-long flatfish
that
resembled a sole, and a red shrimp. They were, however, unable to
photograph
any animals.

The "Facts on File Dictionary of Marine Science" says (under the heading
"deep sea", pages 73 & 74) "... there is usually no plant life at depths
where there is no light. The bacteria, protists [simple organisms], and
animals in deep seas are adapted to both pressure and darkness. They
represent all major invertebrate phyla and many fish. The deeper an
organism's environment, the greater the likelihood that it is a detritus
feeder, living on pieces of dead plants and animals, or a deposit feeder
- a
mudeater. Some species that are carnivores near the surface may have
deposit-feeding hadal relatives; for example, mud-eating sea stars live
below 4,000 m."

Also, according to the book "Frontiers of the Sea" by Robert C. Cowen
(pages
239 & 240), the Galathea expedition dredged the Philippine Trench at a
depth
of 33,433 feet ( in comparison, the Marianas Trench is over 38,000
feet).
The result of their dredging was 25 sea-anemones, about 75
sea-cucumbers, 5
bivalves, 1 amphipod and 1 bristle-worm.

Hope this information is of some assistance to you.

Nathan D. Littlefield
seacat at bellsouth.net


Cressida Connolly wrote in message <6ue708$dd at net.bio.net>...
>
>Hi,
>
>I'm a reporter for the science radio show Earth & Sky. We answer
>listener's questions on air, and we like to get information from people
>actually working in the field. I am researching one such question: "What
>lives at the deepest part of the Ocean." I know that the Marianas Trench
>is the deepest part of the Ocean and that the Trieste visited depths
>approaching this in 1960. I have heard it said, but cannot confirm, that
>the Trieste photographed life at that depth.
>
>Can anyone tell me, in addition to bacterial life, what, if anything,
>lives at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.



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