Deep Sea - Epipelagic Food Webs Problems Facing Epipelagic...

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Epipelagic Food Webs
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Problems Facing Epipelagic Nekton - Finding Food - Avoiding Predation - Staying Afloat Epipelagic zooplankton is often transparent
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Adaptations of Epipelagic Nekton: Swimming & Body Form Epipelagic contains the world’s most powerful swimmers Streamlined bodies Smooth body surfaces Bodies are firm and muscular rete mirabile helps keep muscle warm Force is delivered by tail; pectoral fins are stiff and used for steering and lift
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Epipelagic Food Webs
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Marine Snow - Detritus - particulate matter (not dissolved like DOM) - fecal pellets, dead and decaying phytoplankton, zooplankton exoskeletons and larvacean houses are important source - Called marine snow because underwater it looks like snowflakes - Food source for zooplankton and small fishes in the epipelagic, but sinks quickly and is a critical food source for deeper water organisms
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Life in the Deep Sea
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Most of the major groups of organisms that are part of the epipelagic zooplankton are also represented in the mesopelagic (but usually different species) Zooplankton Crustaceans: krill, copepods, shrimp, ostracods, amphipods Chaetognaths Cnidarians: Jellyfishes, siphonophores Ctenophores Larvaceans Mollusks: Pteropods, squid (weakly swimming) Nekton Squids, some octopi Various fish (most are small: 2-10 cm, but some get much larger) Animals of the Mesopelagic
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Fishes of the Mesopelagic (Not to scale)
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Adaptations of Midwater Animals Two broad categories with different adaptations: Those that stay in the mesopelagic Those that migrate to the surface at night
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Adaptations of Midwater Animals
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Camouflage & Bioluminescence
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Bathypelagic and Abyssopelagic Zones: 1000-6000m Life in the Deep Sea
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Exploring the Deep Bathyscaphe Beebe & Barton 1934: 3,028 feet Bermuda Bathyscaphe Trieste Piccard & Walsh 1960: 35,813 feet Mariana Trench Trieste II Museum of Man & The Sea Panama City Beach, FL The DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic
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Exploring the Deep The manned submersible Johnson Sea-Link Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute 1000m depth limit The  Ventana , an unmanned remote operating  vehicle, which is equipped with a grabbing arm,  sample box,  a slurp gun, and video for controlled  sampling and observation.  Used by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium   Research Institute.
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