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 Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>