Monday, November 28, 2016

Alien Life of the Antarctic

Alien Life of the Antarctic

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Polar Vessel Alien Life of the AntarcticPolar Vessel
Three sampling expeditions aboard the German research vessel “Polarsterni” revealed hundreds of new animal species in the depths of the Southern Ocean.
Little Pincher Alien Life of the AntarcticLittle Pincher
This image shows an isopod (Munna species) discovered in the Weddell Sea.
Pink Worm Alien Life of the AntarcticPink Worm
This pink polychaete worm was discovered in the Weddell Sea.
Sea Urchin Inn Alien Life of the AntarcticSea Urchin Inn

This spindly, cidaroid sea urchin has house guests: sponges, made up of millions of single-celled animals, have attached to the urchini’s branches.

Slim Isopod Alien Life of the AntarcticSlim Isopod
This serolid isopod can flatten its body to increase surface area and keep from sinking into the fine-grain sediment on the seafloor.

Red Eyed Critter Alien Life of the AntarcticRed-Eyed Critter
Some of the deep-water antarcturid isopods (like the one shown) have eyes, suggesting they evolved from species that lived on the shallower continental shelf, where light penetrated to the bottom.

Ghostly Swimmer Alien Life of the AntarcticGhostly Swimmer
This crustacean (Ischnomesus species) was discovered in the Weddell Sea.
Sea Spider Alien Life of the AntarcticSea Spider
This Munnopsis species found in the western Weddell Sea is a type of isopod, a group of marine invertebrates (animals without backbones). The “deep-sea spider” dines on bits of food that sink to the sea floor.
Sediment Feeder Alien Life of the AntarcticSediment Feeder
This protobranch bivalve, or animal with a shell that has two hinged valves, gathers bits of food by probing the soft sediment with a thin appendage.
Half Shell Alien Life of the AntarcticHalf Shell
This protobranch bivalve, discovered in the Weddell Sea, gathers bits of food by probing the soft sediment with a thin appendage.

Roly Poly Alien Life of the AntarcticRoly-Poly
Scientists discovered more than 200 polychaete worm species, 81 of which were previously unknown. This Ophryotrocha species, like other segmented worms, has long bristle-like appendages and it feeds on sinking organic debris called “marine snow.”
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