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 One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

nachricht The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>