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In the Dark: Unusual Deep-Sea Species Documented [Slide Show]

A marine census details more than 5,000 species that live more than 1,000 meters below the surface

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GILDED CRUSTACEAN

This little copepod was captured in the Atlantic abyss. Many of the tiny animals that live in the deep ocean's mud floors are just a few millimeters long. One expedition brought up 680 different specimens of copepods and found that only seven had been previously identified.....[ More ]

YEARS IN EARS

Scientists can learn a lot by studying the growth rings in a fish's ear bone (or otolith), much the way they might examine a tree's rings. This otolith, from a rat-tail fish ( Coryphaenoides brevibarbis ), can reveal age as well as how heartily the fish ate.....[ More ]

STRANGE SEA CUCUMBER

This specimen was caught on film at 2,750 meters below the surface in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The sea cucumber ( Enypniastes ) was moving along at about two centimeters per minute, munching on detritus (which it pushed toward its mouth with its tentacles) as it went.....[ More ]

DARLING DUMBO

This Dumbo octopus ( Grimpoteuthis discoveryi ) lives below 2,900 meters and usually grows only around six centimeters long. The genus is known as "Dumbo" because of the protuberances on their bodies that resemble the cartoon elephant from the eponymous Walt Disney film.....[ More ]

NEW SPECIES?

This Dumbo octopus ( Grimpoteuthis sp.) was found earlier this year and might be a new species. These animals swim near the bottom of the ocean on the prowl for tasty worms and copepods.....[ More ]

RARE CATCH

This Neocyema is only the fifth of its kind to have been caught, and the first to be found on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The long, orange swimmer lives between 2,000 and 2,500 meters below the surface.....[ More ]

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