Exploring Oceans: Overview, video by National Geographic, Uploaded on Mar 16, 2009. The ocean produces 70 percent of the Earth’s oxygen and drives our weather and the chemistry of the planet. Most of the creatures on Earth live in the sea. But our knowledge of the ocean is far outstripped by our impact on it.
Researchers have compiled a database of images and data collected from the Antarctic seafloor during various expeditions to the frozen continent… Many of the images in the collection were taken at the bottom of the Weddell Sea, the large bay nestled in the frozen continent’s coast from the Antarctic Peninsula east to the Coats Land region.
Some examples of the strange creatures that thrive on the bottom of the chilly ocean surrounding Antarctica – photo credits: Julian Gutt, Alfred Wegener Institute:
Shell-less Snail ~ Clione (Clione limacina), is a shell-less snail known as the Sea Butterfly. This snail is also known as the Sea Angel that swims in the shallow waters beneath Arctic ice.
Antarctic Ice Fish ~ Even in the chilliest water, life can thrive. Ice fish, like the one seen here, have a natural antifreeze chemical in their blood and body fluids that allow them to survive frigid water temperatures.
This is an invasive king crab (Neolithodes yaldwyni) from the Antarctic shelf waters.
These predatory king crabs will cause a major reduction on seafloor biodiversity as they invade Antarctic habitats.
Ice Fish ~ This Antarctic fish… has no red blood cells or red blood pigments. This makes the fish’s blood thinner, saving energy that would otherwise be needed to pump the blood around the body.
This picture shows hydrocorals also known as sea fans – various colonial marine hydrozoans of the order Hydrocorallinae, having a limestone skeleton and thus resembling the true corals.
Cold Crustacean ~ This shy-looking critter is an inhabitant of Antarctica – first found during the research vessel Polarstern’s ANTXXIII-8 cruise. This the arthropod is about 1 inch long and can be found near Antarctica’s Elephant Island.
The Pink Lady ~ Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) plays a key role in the food webs of the South Ocean. In fact, these tiny crustaceans have developed many biological rhythms that are closely connected to large seasonal changes in their environment.
Big Red Shrimp ~ A giant Antarctic amphipod measuring 4 inches (100 mm) long. These red shrimp can be found off the Antarctic Peninsula.
Sea Pig ~There are actually several different genera and species of “sea pigs” (members of the family Elpidiidae) Not all of them live in the deep-sea, some of them live in Antarctic waters.
Antarctica: The Hunt for Killer CApr 5, 2013 rabs, published on
… For millions of years, the animals of the Antarctic sea floor have evolved in splendid isolation, with essentially no predation pressure from the crabs, sharks, and bony fish that control marine communities everywhere else in the world…Antarctica: The Hunt for Killer Crabs documents a voyage of scientists from around the world to try to get a glimpse of what could be a new killer on the sea bottom. Join them on their journey to find this new predator and see what may lie ahead for the animals that already live there.