One of the biggest questions in modern oceanography is how animals in the deep sea get enough to eat. Marine biologists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) recently published a paper that helps answer this question, at least for animals that live on the deep seafloor off the coast of Central California. After analyzing hundreds of hours of deep-sea video, Bruce Robison and his colleagues found that "sinkers"—the cast-off mucus nets of small midwater animals called larvaceans—are a significant source of food for deep-sea organisms. They describe their findings in the June 10, 2005 issue of Science magazine.
Far from being a deserted place, the deep seafloor is inhabited by a wide variety of swimming, crawling, and burrowing animals. Since plants cannot grow more than few hundred meters below the surface, most deep-sea animals either eat their neighbors or feed on material (detritus) that drifts down from above. For decades oceanographers have used funnel-like collectors called sediment traps to measure how much food sinks down to the seafloor in the form of detritus. They have also estimated the amount of food consumed by animals on the seafloor. At many locations, they have found that the amount of food collected in sediment traps is significantly less than the amount of food being consumed by animals on the seafloor.
Over the years, researchers have suggested a number of possible additional food sources for deep-sea organisms that might make up for the lack of food observed in sediment traps. Some researchers have theorized that additional food washes into the deep sea from shallow coastal areas or river plumes. Other scientists have suggested that algal blooms or the sunken carcasses of whales and other large animals could account for the missing food. Robison believes that, although these sources may be important in some areas, they are not persistent enough or substantial enough to account for what is apparently a world-wide phenomenon.
Kim Fulton-Bennett | EurekAlert!
Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard
New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences