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Deep-sea corals

When we think of corals, for most people this brings up colorful views of clear blue waters and colorful tropical reefs around which swim a multitude of exotic fish.  However, these are not the only coral reefs present in our ocean, there are highly productive and extensive reefs in the colder and deeper waters of our oceans. Continue reading →

Vent Dominators

In this blog post, I will show you some examples of the creatures that dominate the communities at hydrothermal vents around the world.  I recommend following this link to an interactive map of vent sites around the world whilst reading this blog post, so you can navigate around each vent ‘province’ and learn more about the vents at which these animals thrive!  There is also a Google Earth file to download, if you’d like to interactively view the vent locations within this program. Continue reading →

Fish diversity in the one of earth’s least explored environments: the mesopelagic zone

The mesopelagic zone comprises the entire water column intermediate from the epipelagic zone (up to 200 m depth) to the deep pelagic layers (bathypelagic zone), located ca. 1000 m depth extending down to 4000 m. Also defined as twilight zone, the mesopelagic zone is the transition from the upwards-epipelagic photic zone to the deep aphotic zone, where the sunlight is completely absent. Continue reading →

Red-Seeing Fish, Blue-Seeing Fish: Deep-Sea Vision Evolves

Talking about glowing sharks, here it is a very cool text published in the live science blog. "Fearsome-looking creatures that live in the near-dark to pitch-black waters of the deep sea, dragon fish wouldn't seem to have much need for eyes, let alone the ability to see color. However, some dragon fish have rapidly evolved from blue-light sensitivity to red-light sensitivity, and then back to blue again. Continue reading →

My Research: Christopher Bird

 The intensification and industrialisation of commercial fishing during the 20th century has caused depletions in many fish populations around the globe. As coastal and open water fisheries began to struggle, many fisheries expanded operations into deeper waters in search of new profitable fish stocks. Whilst most deep-water fishing operations only target a few species, such fishing gears are often associated with high levels of incidental by-catch of non-targeted species. Continue reading →

Mapping the deep, and the real story behind the “95% unexplored” oceans

At the end of this month, we will be running an update of our free Massive Open Online Course ("MOOC") about "Exploring Our Oceans", intended for anyone interested in finding out more about our watery world, with no previous background in science required. One topic we'll look at in Week 1 of the course, "A hidden landscape", is how we map the ocean floor, and how much has been mapped at different levels of detail. Continue reading →