Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The very hungry sea anemone

06.07.2015

The surprising culinary preferences of an abyssal sea anemone have been unveiled by a team of scientists from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

New time-lapse photography of the abyssal sea floor shows that this type of anemone can eat animals up to six times its weight and moves around the ocean floor by burrowing.


The Isosactis Anemone is shown feeding.

Credit: The National Oceanography Centre

The lead author of this study, Jennifer Durden, a PhD student at the NOC, explained that these heavy meals can take the anemone up to 80 hours to digest. The abyss is the term given to any area of the sea floor below 3000 metres from the sea-surface.

Jennifer said "Finding out new things about this anemone is really exciting! It was found more than 15 years ago, but we didn't know what it ate or how it moved around. We also didn't know that it was the most common animal at the site- it makes up half of the creatures there.

These observations are really important for understanding life on Earth, since the ocean's abyssal seafloor makes up more than 50% of the planet's surface. They would not have been possible without the technology and commitment to long-term ocean observing by NOC."

A combination of photos taken from the UK's deepest diving robot-sub, Autosub6000, and time-lapse photography enabled Jennifer to count the animals and to observe their behaviours, in a way that has not previously been possible.

Dr Henry Ruhl, the principal investigator on the project said "This research shows how the technology developed at the NOC enables us to continue to learn basic things about one of the most well studied deep water research sites."

The discovery was made in the three mile deep Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP), about 300 miles west of Land's End. NOC's observatory at the site has been the focus of extensive research for over 25 years. This makes it the one of the longest running deep-sea ecology observing programmes globally.

###

These photographs were taken as part of the Autonomous Ecological Surveying of the Abyss project, funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC). This project aims to understand the spatial distribution of abyssal animals, and therefore their importance in deep sea ecosystems. The project is creating a map of the sea floor made up of 'stitched' together photographs, not unlike a Google Earth map. A team of scientists at NOC are still analysing these pictures, so there are more discoveries yet to come.

The ongoing research at the PAP site is funded by NERC National Capability funding.

Media Contact

Holly Peacock
holly.peacock@noc.ac.uk
0238-059-6388

 @NOCnews

http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk 

Holly Peacock | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>