Mariana Trench deep sea animals, video


This 18 February 2020 video says about itself:

The Mariana Trench is the deepest point on Earth, void of light with the pressure of 48 jumbo jets. Yet life finds a way to survive. Very weird life. Like crustaceans with aluminium shields or the blind, translucent snailfish, the deadliest predator in the trench and of course the sea pig, a type of sea cucumber that crawls with its tentacles. But the most surprising thing in the deep ocean is plastic… that’s right even the deepest part of the ocean can’t escape human pollution.

2019 new Pacific ocean deep sea discoveries


This 27 December 2019 video from California in the USA says about itself:

MBARI [Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute] Top 10: A treasure trove of bizarre, interesting, and wondrous encounters in 2019

From an exceedingly rare deep-sea whalefish to an adorable panda bear sea butterfly to a sunken fishing boat, MBARI’s remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) have encountered a treasure trove of bizarre, interesting, and wondrous sights in 2019! As we continue to explore the largest and least known habitat on Earth, we promise to share our discoveries with you.

Featured in this video in order of appearance:

• Flabby whalefish (Family Cetomimidae) at 1,665 meters in Monterey Bay.
• Hydroid coiling (Family Candelabridae) at 3,976 meters offshore Big Sur.
• Redhead larvacean (Mesochordaeus erythrocephalus) at 2,965 meters in Monterey Bay.
• Octopus Garden (Muusoctopus sp.) at 3,191 meters near Davidson Seamount.
• Panda bear pteropod (Notobranchaea macdonaldi) at 1,195 meters in Monterey Bay.
Sponge garden (Heterochone calyx & Staurocalyptus sp.) at 837 meters at Sur Ridge.
• Anchovies schooling (Engraulis mordax) at 334 meters offshore Morro Bay.
• Deep-sea hydroid (Branchiocerianthus imperator) with nudibranchs at 3978 meters offshore Big Sur.
• Midwater jelly (Euphysora gigantea) at 430 meters in Monterey Bay.
• Shipwreck (F/V Linda Rose) at 418 meters offshore Morro Bay

Video editor: Kyra Schlining
Music: Drown in Me (YouTube Audio Library)
Production team: Kyra Schlining, Susan von Thun, Nancy Jacobsen Stout

Learn more about MBARI’s news-worthy discoveries here.

New fin whale subspecies discovery


This 29 January 2012 video from the USA says about itself:

Fin Whale Watching with the Aquarium of the Pacific off Long Beach, California

The Aquarium of the Pacific has seen a record number of Gray whales, endangered Fin whales, Orcas and Dolphins off the coast of Long Beach on their whale watching excursions this Winter (January 2012). The Aquarium invited MomsLA out for a chance to see what we could see and it was amazing: we saw two giant pods of Dolphins and a pod of endangered Fin Whales. Later that day the Aquarium saw a pod of Orcas and a pod of Gray whales as well.

From NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region in the USA:

Genetics reveal Pacific subspecies of fin whale

New findings highlight diversity of marine mammals

October 28, 2019

e northern Pacific Ocean as a separate subspecies, reflecting a revolution in marine mammal taxonomy as scientists unravel the genetics of enormous animals otherwise too large to fit into laboratories.

“The increasing study of cetacean genetics is revealing new diversity among the world’s whales and dolphins that has not been previously recognized,” said Eric Archer, a geneticist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) in La Jolla, California. Archer is the lead author of the identification of the new subspecies of fin whale.

“There’s definitely more diversity out there than has been on the books,” he said. “There has been a wave of progress in cetacean taxonomy.”

Fin whales are the second-largest whale on earth and the fastest whales in the ocean, which made them one of the last whale species hunted to the edge of extinction. Whalers killed about 46,000 fin whales in the North Pacific Ocean from 1947 to 1987. They are also one of the least known large whale species. They mainly roam the open ocean, farther from coastlines where they might be seen and studied more easily.

Scientists from NOAA Fisheries, Ocean Associates Inc., Cascadia Research Collective, Tethys Research Institute, and Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, identified the new subspecies. Their findings were published in an article in the Journal of Mammalogy, naming it Balaenoptera physalus velifera, which means “carrying a sail” in Latin.

“We don’t get a lot of (genetic) material from them,” Archer said. However, advancing technologies allowed Archer and his colleagues to extract the detail they needed from samples at the SWFSC. The center’s Marine Mammal and Turtle Molecular Research Sample Collection is one of the largest collections of marine mammal genetic material in the world. They obtained additional samples from museums and other collections.

Bypassing the Skulls

Traditional taxonomy — the division of biological variation into recognized species and subspecies — involves comparing telltale parts of the skeleton such as the skull. For whales, this may weigh hundreds of pounds. Few institutions can amass a large enough collection to compare different individuals from around the world.

“Fin whales measure 60 to 70 feet long and their skulls are around 15 feet long,” Archer said. “Just housing a couple takes a lot of room.”

Increasingly powerful genetic technologies now allow scientists to compare genes instead of skeletons. They extract DNA from tissue samples the size of a pencil eraser obtained from whales in the field.

“It’s the only realistic way to do this, because you cannot get enough examples to determine the difference through morphology alone,” Archer said. As they have looked more closely at the genetic patterns of whales around the world, scientists have discovered much more complex differences between them.

“Instead of digging through museum storage facilities for skulls to describe species or subspecies, genetic data unlock our ability to describe unique populations of whales across the globe,” said research biologist Barbara Taylor, leader of the SWFSC’s Marine Mammal Genetics Program. “It is a new way of looking at these animals.”

Telltale Differences in the DNA

Comparing the DNA from fin whales in the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans showed the scientists that they have been separated for hundreds of thousands of years. They also could assign individual fin whale samples to their ocean of origin using the genetic data. This is further evidence that they are separate and distinct subspecies.

Genetic research by NOAA Fisheries scientists has also revealed new details of other whales, including a new species of Baird’s beaked whale. It may also help determine whether a recently documented type of killer whale off South America represents a new species.

Similar genetic details can also help tailor protections for threatened or endangered whales, because the Endangered Species Act recognizes separate subspecies. That means that managers can target ESA safeguards for those subspecies that need it even when others may have recovered. This could make conservation efforts more efficient and effective.

About 14,000 to 18,000 fin whales in the northern Pacific Ocean will be affected by the new subspecies designation. NOAA Fisheries has documented that their numbers are increasing.

“There are other new species and subspecies that we are learning about thanks to the technology that has made this possible,” Archer said. “It is changing the field.”

Dead whale feeds deep-sea animals, videos


This 16 October 2019 video says about itself:

Whale Fall Actively Devoured by Scavengers at Davidson Seamount| Nautilus Live

During the final dive of this year’s Nautilus expedition season, our team discovered a whale fall while exploring Davidson Seamount off central California’s coast with researchers from Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The skeletal remains of the whale lying on its back are estimated to be 4-5 meters long. The team is working to identify the species, but it is confirmed to be a baleen whale as indicated by baleen remaining along the whale’s jawbones.

While evidence of whale falls have been observed to remain on the seafloor for several years, this appears to be a relatively recent fall with baleen, blubber, and some internal organs remaining. The site also exhibits an interesting mid-stage of ecological succession, as both large scavengers like eelpouts are still stripping the skeleton of blubber, and bone-eating Osedax worms are starting to consume lipids (fats) from the bones. Other organisms seen onsite include crabs, grenadier, polychaetes, and deep-sea octopus.

This 17 October 2019 video is the sequel. It says about itself:

The banquet continues! Yesterday we made a surprise baleen whale fall discovery that viewers around the globe watched alongside the Nautilus team in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Get a close up look at some of the scavenging diners including eelpouts, octopus, and polychaete worms–like the bone-eating Osedax worms that carpet the whale’s bones in a red fringe.

Deep-sea dragonfish video


This 10 August 2019 video says about itself:

The deep-sea dragonfish is a predator that lives deep in the Pacific Ocean. Like many other deep sea predators, it’s got an oversized jaw and a bioluminescent appendage to attract prey, but it does have one weird (and strangely useful) difference: its teeth are transparent!