Showing posts with label abyssal animals.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label abyssal animals.. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Greenland shark, Somniosus microcephalus.

We know that the white shark can reach up to 6 meters long (18 ft) and, of course, is a large predator. But in terms of dangerous sharks, and murderers of large dams, we must speak of one that surpasses the great white shark, The Greenland shark.

This shark receives other name as the sleeper shark, gurry shark, ground shark, grey shark, or by the Inuit languages name Eqalussuaq.

This large shark of 7 meters (21 ft) long, lives at great depths to 2,500 meters (9.000 ft) , where no sunlight reaches. In the dark, the view is useless and the smell takes over. So when his refined sense of smell perceives the slightest speck of blood of any of its wounded prey, manages to capture it even found over 1 mile away.

It is true that by living most of his time in cold, dark waters, the shark has to reserve its precious energy, so their movements are slow ... as lazy. But make no mistake. The Greenland Shark up to the surface and when it finds its prey, it is less aggressive than any other shark, either the white shark, the bull shark or tiger shark. In many specimens have been caught, have been found walruses, seals and even polar bear parts. I imagine it, a polar bear, thanks to global warming has to swim across large distances between icebergs and boreal shark lurking down, biting, tiring, exhausting to death by drowning of a polar bear, already difficult to survival.

Thought to be one of the few animals that, together with the sperm whale and Pacific sleeper shark, comes to feed on giant and colossal squid.

Finally, much more can be said of this shark, but concluded by good news, we can rejoice in knowing that, for now, this enigmatic shark is not endangered.

Curiosity: The first image shows the eye "something". Now it is a very common parasite of this species.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The lamprey, the vampire ocean.

If we made a list of the strangest animals in the world, the Lamprey would be among the first places. It is known as the vampire from the depths.

It's a prehistoric animal that has not changed for 500 million years. When evolution had not invented the mandible as we know it today. It is a euryhaline organism. This means that animals are able to live in a wide range of salt concentrations without altering its metabolism. And so are found in rivers, lakes and seas. In fact, the Lamprey was born in a river, and return to spawn as salmon do.

But nothing Lamprey resemblance to a salmon. The lamprey is parasitic, not predatory, also thanks to its suction mouth is able to cling to the stone to help up the torrents of the rivers. In fact, they are so different that taxonomically speaking not considered fish, being so peculiar, have their own group, the paraphyletic group of cyclostomes.

But go to the outlandish. The mouth of the Lamprey, mouth-suction cup that reminds an alien movie, devoid of jaw. This has the shape of a funnel trimmed teeth and tongue corneal scraping. Attaches to the skin of its host and once hooked up to suck and suck, there has been the case, to kill her.

When the lamprey is a larva, feeds on a different form, has no teeth that we see in adults, nor have eyes. They feed by hairs (called barbules) that filter food. When adults go to sea, living as deep as 500 meters. They reach weights of 1 kg and 1 meter in length (40 inch), then return to spawn in the river, which left between 50,000 and 200,000 eggs ... Those are a lot of eggs ... Then lampreys die as do salmon.

It is very common in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, where this animal is conceived as a tasty snack and a part as an essential ingredient in recipes in culinary traditions as old as the Roman.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The sperm whale.

The king of seas, oceans a top predator can defeat a group of Orcas (killer whales), descending to great depths and hunt giant squid. The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is undoubtedly the animal with greater ability to kill (this sounds a little nerdy) in the world.

But it is true, can weigh almost 50 tons, is the largest toothed mammal, and has very special characteristics. For example:

The sperm whale can be lowered to depths of 3,000 meters, holding their breath for more than 1 hour and resist the high pressure that occurs at these depths. When your heart beats dives 1 time per minute, and lungs contract to handle the pressure. Pressures we are talking about 30 million Pascals ... it is like having to put up at the tip of the little finger, 5 bulls on top of each other, and that in each cm2 of the skin of the whale. In addition, blood has a dense, with many red blood cells and this reduces nitrogen production, something that all divers are afraid and so are decompression.
All these physical adaptations allow the mammal to become deeper dives.
Another thing that stands out is the sonar. Sunlight begins to disappear at a certain depth (about 400m I think), the abyssal darkness prevails and vision, the eyes, is useless in these places. But the sperm whale has devised how to move easily and even hunt prey as elusive as the giant squid. The crack produced by the sperm whale is the loudest sound produced by any animal, but its function is unknown (although it is believed that sonar and used as a weapon to stun their prey).
The sperm whale can get to be more than 20 meters and, as we said, 50 tons and has a serrated jaw 5 meters. It is a mammal, lives in family groups, and has no predators. Still, is in danger of extinction ... for now in a vulnerable state.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Aequorea victoria.

If we plunge the water in the ocean and we began to fall and fall until the light disappeared, and the pressure, dead silence and total darkness, we suddenly discover that there is a world of amazing animals, strange and fascinating. An example of these animals, may be the jellyfish Aequorea victoria or crystal jelly.

A bioluminescent jellyfish in the light of day is almost invisible, but in the darkness of the deep produces a beautiful light, a light which hypnotizes and traps prey in his wonderful tentacles filled nematocysts (cells that inject toxins).

Not long ago it was discovered (2009), yet little is known of it. If I am not mistaken is the only animal that produces green light, thanks to a green fluorescent protein (GFP, for its acronym in English, green fluorescent protein), produced only by the jellyfish Aequorea victoria.

It inhabits the west coast of North America, but as often happens lately with many jellyfish, the number of specimens of this species is growing due to the disappearance of predators.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


In the deep ocean habitats that are very different from those found in shallow coastal waters or in the first 200 meters deep. Therefore, the animals found are also very different. Animals that have had to adapt to high pressure, very low temperatures and of course the infinite darkness.

We saw the Pelican eel, a monster of the deep. But now I want to show other animals living in the depths: Giant Hatchetfish or Greater Silver Hatchetfish (Argyropelecus gigas, the image).

This animal "friendly appearance" is located at depths above 600 meters. With his dark eyes, looks up and detects the silhouettes of prey that can be seen in contrast to the dim light (invisible to us) that comes from the surface.

Not only that, if we thought that another predator even more terrible than the Giant Hatchetfish the same technique used to detect this and other fish, we would realize a feature of survival and adaptability of Argyropelecus own gigs ... is INVISIBLE. It is capable of producing, through his body photophore (producing light) blue reflections similar to those seen if you look at the surface, making it completely invisible.

Finally, think not that this little fish on tender stalks you in the depths. It is harmless to people, because although the species has the word giant, no larger than 15 cm. Distributed by the deep abyssal Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific.

We often call:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dumbo Octopus

They are in the depths of the ocean where we find this so strange and funny animalete. This is an octopus (really a kind of octopus) who lives between 3,000 and 5,000 meters deep and is called the Dumbo Octopus (Grimpoteuthis) because their fins resemble the ears of an elephant.

Where this little cephalopod lives of 20 cm long, is less sunlight and that explains why it is white or very light shades.

Living in the abyssal zone, we know very little about the Dumbo Octopus, except to eat down to the depths. And the way you eat, a unique feature of this octopus. Compared with others, Dumbo swallows its prey whole and not going pecking as do other octopuses. Among their prey can find some small crustaceans and marine worms.

You can flush the transparent layer of their skin at will. The Dumbo octopus largest ever recorded was 1.8 meters long and weighed about 6 kg but as we said, the normal size for different species is believed to be smaller.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pelican eel.

From the abyssal depths of the oceans, I present to Eurypharynx Pelecanoides or commonly called pelican eel. Then you will see why his name. I, since I saw impressed me, and if I dived I thought he would die of a heart attack when the darkness of the sea from an animal emerged as the Pelican Fish.

But this fish lived for many feet (even miles) deep and that is why we have seen a few times, and that is why, little is known about him.

Specimens have been found about 60 cm, although it is thought that can reach 1 meter, and although not very large compared with our body, is possibly the animal with jaws relationship / larger body of all (I say this without have checked). His mouth is huge, you can eat larger prey than itself. Therefore, in addition to its "mouth" has an elongated body with a flexible stomach stretches to give shelter to the victim.

But his curiosity did not end there: It has a light body which aims to attract prey.

What a hunter ... thankfully does not feed people and feed on other fish, shrimp or plankton.

By the way, this video is very good (a little dark), I recommend that you see, you will not regret.