Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sea floor life

First sea floor footage filmed with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) nearby the remnants of the Larsen B ice shelf during the Polarstern ANTXXIII/8 expedition. This second sequence depicts a much richer fauna, comprised of fish, feather stars, brittle stars, sponges, corals and other colonial animals.

We can successively see on this video a rockcod fish (on the left), a giant scaleworm, very rarely seen in Antarctica, and unknown elsewhere

Then it is the turn of a solitary sea squirt (belonging to the Ascidians, filter-feeding animals belonging to one of the invertebrate groups closely related to the vertebrates) and of, in the background, on the left, the first specimens of a pink hydrocoral, very common here, but rare elsewhere in Antarctica.

Other species such as octocoral and feather stars can be seen.

And a white drop stone also (45 sec) in the seafloor, probably coming from the melting of an iceberg!