Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Food falls

Where do whale sharks and other large sea creatures go to die? They fall to the floor of the ocean where they provide food for crabs and other underwater scavengers. These "graveyards" are rarely observed and poorly studied, but one was accidentally recorded by remotely operated vehicles during a survey of the seafloor around Angola for industrial exploration. The video was analyzed by a team led by Nick Higgs of the University of Plymouth's Marine Institute, who said that one of the more unusual findings was eels, that lay in wait for the scavengers and eat them. Glad for the opportunity to see this part of the marine ecosystem in action, the researchers wrote,“It is extremely rare to encounter natural food-falls; in five decades of deep-sea photography and exploration only nine vertebrate carcasses have ever been documented.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.