The abyss of the oceans is a fascinating place, but extreme in terms of living conditions. Animals living in the depths of the oceans had to develop a number of traits that allowed them to function in an unusual, dark environment and under tremendous pressure. Presenting a list of the most interesting deep-sea animals, we signal some of the amazing forms, adaptations or features of each species.

Exploring the ocean depths

Oceanic areas, located at depths of more than 2,000 meters above sea level, are mysterious terrains that require advanced technology and specialized underwater vehicles to explore. There are near-zero temperatures, the pressure is extreme and there is no natural light, as the sun’s rays are unable to penetrate to such depths. Some creatures have gained the ability of bioluminescence as an adaptation to the dark environment in which they live – by emitting their own light they attract prey, communicate or mask themselves from predators. Despite advances in technology, many areas of the ocean abyss are still unexplored, and scientists have yet to discover all the species that inhabit these unique ecosystems.

Inhabitants of the deep oceans – a list of these unusual creatures

We present a list that shows how so far discovered inhabitants of the deep oceans cope with hostile conditions and what amazing creatures they are:

1. Sloane’s Viperfish(Chauliodus sloani) is one of the most recognizable deep-sea fish, with long tusk-like teeth and photophores lighting up the sides of the body. During the day it is found at depths of 500 m to 2,500 m, but at night it moves out into shallower waters (below 600 m), where it feeds more intensively. The species was first described by German scientists Marcus E. Bloch and Johann G. Schneider in 1801. Chauliodus sloani is believed to be able to regulate the intensity of the bioluminescence of its abdominal photophores to camouflage itself from predators that might see its shadow. The species was named after the British physician and naturalist Hans Sloane, whose description of a trip to Jamaica in 1725. was quoted several times by Bloch and Schneider.

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Sloane’s Viperfish(Chauliodus sloani), by Gervais et Boulart, public domain

The 2nd Yeti crab (Kiwa hirsuta) is an unusual, hairy crab without eyes. It was discovered in 2005. near Easter Island, in a hydrothermal vent at a depth of 2,200 meters. It represents not only a new species, but also a new genus “Kiwa” – named after a mythological Polynesian goddess and guardian of the ocean – and “hirsuta,” which means “hairy” in Latin. Because of its hairy pincers, the animal was named after the legendary Yeti of the Himalayas. These hairs are covered with chemoautotrophic bacteria that help the crustacean in the process of oxygenation and nutrition.

(3) The black pendulum(Malacosteus niger) is found in the oceans of the tropical and subtropical zones at depths of 500-2500 meters above sea level. It has a distinctive lower jaw, covered with sharp teeth, which gives the fish its common name. This specialized dentition can rotate inward to prevent prey from escaping and facilitate its passage into the esophagus. The black pendulum has three paired light organs on its head and is characterized by the ability of red bioluminescence, which is rare among animals. These iridescent fish come in shades of blue, green, black and silver.

Illustration

Black pendula(Malacosteus niger), by Matsuura, Keiichi, public domain

4 The guinea pig(Scotoplanes globosa), despite its name, its pink body color and its penchant for muddy seabeds, is actually a type of sea cucumber. It lives in the deepest and darkest parts of the ocean, from 1,200 to 5,000 meters below the surface. The guinea pig spends its days sniffing at muddy sediments on the seafloor and eating bits of dead algae and animals that have fallen from shallower zones. Although it occurs widely, scientists are still trying to solve the mysteries associated with it. One of the most puzzling remains the reason why they sometimes “hitchhike” young king crabs(Neolithodes diomedeae) without any apparent benefit.

5. monkfish, or Black Seadevil Anglerfish, or “black sea devil”(Melanocetus) – was so named because of its sinister appearance and pitch-black skin. It lives at depths of 100 to 4,500 meters above sea level. It is characterized by a large head and an abundant set of sizable, menacing-looking, sharp and glassy, fang-like teeth that are found only in females of this species. Sea devils have a bulbous bioluminescent “bait-rod” at the end of a modified dorsal radius, called an “esca.” The organ is believed to be used to lure prey in dark, deep-sea environments. The source of the fish’s luminescence is the symbiotic bacteria that inhabit the esca and the area around it. The powerful jaw allows the anglerfish to swallow prey larger than itself.

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Monkfish, or Black Seadevil Anglerfish, or “black sea devil”(Melanocetus), public domain

6 The Dumbo octopus(Grimpoteuthis) is a deep-sea animal that lives on the ocean floor at extreme depths of 3,000 to 4,000 feet. m. It is the deepest-living representative of the species. The name “dumbo” comes from its fins, which resemble the large ears of Dumbo the elephant, a character in the 1941 Disney film. There are about 17 species of Dumbo octopus, which belong to a group called “umbrella octopus” because they can float on water, resembling an umbrella. This octopus pounces on its prey and eats it whole – this feeding trait is unique to the genus Grimpoteuthis. Their diet includes copepods, equids, hair worms and amphipods. They are relatively small – they grow to an average length of 20-30 cm. He doesn’t have a bag of ink, as he rarely has the opportunity to encounter predators in the deep sea.

7. theVampyroteuthis infernalis loves the darkness of the deep, cold ocean. It has a dark red body color, icy blue eyes and membranous tentacles that resemble a cape. Despite its name, it is a cephalopod and the only modern living representative of the family Vampyroteuthidae and the orderVampyromorphida. It is found at depths of 600 to 1,200 meters in temperate and tropical deep zones. Most cephalopods are hunters, but the vampire squid is a scavenger. The hellbender vampire lives in a minimum oxygen zone, where oxygen saturation can be less than 5 percent. To cope with this, it uses hemocyanin (copper-based blue blood), which binds oxygen very well, has a large gill area for this, and has a low metabolism, so it uses very little energy.

The vampire squid does not throw away ink. The tips of its tentacles secrete a cloud of bioluminescent mucus that glows for up to 10 minutes, long enough for it to escape a predator. In order to defend itself, it also adopts a “pineapple” posture. – This happens when the squid lifts its membranous tentacles over its body, exposing its spines, which look very sharp, and tries to scare off the aggressor this way.

The 8th Fangtooth Fish(Anoplogaster cornuta) is characterized by a large mouth equipped with sharp, fang-like teeth, which is where its common name “fangtooth” comes from. The adult fish is small, reaching about 17 cm in length. It occurs mainly at depths of 500 to 2,000 meters. Its teeth, relative to its body size, are so long that the Anoplogaster has adapted to close its mouth – special pouches on the palate prevent the fish’s own teeth from piercing its brain.

Illustration

Fangtooth Fish(Anoplogaster cornuta), public domain

The Fangtooth Fish is a predator and feeds on other fish, crustaceans and cephalopods. It can achieve invisibility by absorbing light with great efficiency – this is allowed by melanin, a pigment that covers virtually all of its dermis and absorbs almost all incoming light. This makes him invisible in deep darkness. The efficiency of light absorption is 99.5 percent, which makes it very difficult to photograph this fish in its natural habitat.

9. giant equid(Bathynomus) is closely related to marine crustaceans such as shrimp and crabs, and terrestrial crustaceans such as bugs. They live at depths of 150 to 2,000 meters (and potentially deeper).It roams the deep seafloor, feeding on fish carcasses and other debris falling from above. It can eat so much that it can significantly reduce its ability to move. Bathynomus is an example of deep-sea gigantism – it grows up to 40 cm long. It has floating limbs, called pleopods, which it also uses to breathe. Giant equids, when they feel threatened, curl up into a small ball – just like their inland, smaller relatives.

10. Barreleye fish(Macropinna microstoma) is a creature that inhabits oceanic zones at an altitude of 600 to 800 meters. It gets its name from its unusual eyes, which are pointed upward at a 90-degree angle. In this way, Macropinna microstoma is able to see the prey above it in the water column, and if necessary can turn them forward and look at the prey in front of them. Her unusual eyes are large, bright green and tube-shaped. They can be seen through the transparent, fluid-filled head of the fish.

Its large, flat fins allow it to remain almost motionless in the water and maneuver very precisely while swimming. Most of the time, the Barreleye fish hangs motionless in the water, with its body in a horizontal position and its eyes pointed upward. Green pigments in her eyes can filter out sunlight coming directly in from the sea surface, helping her see the bioluminescent glow of animals above her head.

Exploring the invisible – inhabitants of the deep oceans

Discovering all the inhabitants of the deep oceans requires advanced technology and specialized underwater equipment. Their mysteriousness makes them fascinating, and many are still unknown. The biodiversity of the ocean depths is compared to that characterizing rainforests. Although animals live in the deepest areas of the oceans, human activity can still have a negative impact on them. Protecting these ecosystems is also of great importance in the context of climate change. The oceans absorb huge amounts of greenhouse gases. It is estimated that up to now, as much as 30 percent of. carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuels was absorbed by them.

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