Animals that did not see the light: the inhabitants of the extreme depths

In a depth, appearance is not as important as specific adaptations of the body. What – says Vlad Gorbachev.


Life on Earth adapts to any conditions – to the heat, and to cold, and to isolation on the seabed. The author of the popular channel “Book of Animals” in Yandex.Zen ” Vlad Gorbachev talks about amazing inhabitants of extreme ocean depths.

People still have not studied the ocean in full, and all the more interesting to learn new things about its inhabitants. Everyone saw colorful fish in the shallow water of the Red Sea. Depth of up to 200 m is a favorable habitat. When moving deeper, living organisms have to face extreme conditions. In the zone called “Mesopeliagial” (this is 200–700 m), the physical and chemical characteristics of the environment are already changing significantly.

There is almost complete darkness, high pressure and low temperature (approximately 2–4 ° C). With an increase in depth, the concentration of oxygen decreases, the content of hydrogen sulfide increases and the share of phosphorus increases. In addition, a mass of waste waste from the surface is lowered to the bottom. These particles are used by animals to maintain the number of macro elements normally. 

Animals that did not see the light: the inhabitants of the extreme depths

Photo: Shutterstock.The depth of the ocean is not of such a high variety of foods as on land. The bulk of the nutrients comes from above

Land takes only 29% of the earth’s surface. The rest falls on the world ocean and inner waters. At the same time, more than 90% of all animals of the Earth live in water, and only 0.8% of animals live only on land. These figures show what important commercial and environmental significance the hydrosphere plays.

The environment influenced the morphology of deep -sea animals and the course of physiological and biochemical processes. Some are characterized by a well -developed visual apparatus, and in other types it can be reduced. The sense of smell helps to navigate in dark space, so well -developed olfactory bulbs are characteristic of the brain of many deep -sea fish. For convenient movement at the hollow bottom, animals have developed a peculiar devices in the form of modified breast fins and a flattened body. 

Deep -sea invertebrates represented by intestinal, arthropods, mollusks, unicellular, have both transparent and brightly colored forms. Many deep -sea animals use bioluminescence for lighting, attracting production or camouflage. 

At the depths of the ocean there is no such high variety of food as on land. The main part of the nutrients comes from above – these are organomineral particles, as well as the remains of animals and their life, the so -called “sea snow”. But these particles are not enough to replenish the energy resources of the body, therefore, deep -sea animals were divided into two environmental groups: detritophages that eat decaying organics and predators.

The most ugly fish

Animals that did not see the light: the inhabitants of the extreme depths

Photo: Flickr.Com

Deep -sea fish are one of the most unpleasant creatures on the planet. At a depth where the light does not reach, appearance is not as important as specific adaptations of the body. PSYCHROLUTES MARCIDUS, She Fish, can be considered one of the most ugly animals in the world. Small eyes, chubby jelly -like body and wide mouth cause unpleasant sensations in the observer, but such an appearance allows it to exist at a depth of 600-1200 m. 

Unlike most fish, the “drop” does not have a swimming bubble. The disappearance of this organ is caused by high pressure at a depth, due to which the gas atoms are compressed. The muscles and fins are poorly developed, and the body consists of a jelly -like substance, which allows it to stay afloat. The substance from which the body of the fish fish consists of is less density than water, so it is able to move without spending a lot of energy.

Plankton, small invertebrates, which themselves swim in the mouth, as well as the remains falling from the upper part of the ocean include. A wide mouth allows you to swallow large prey, such as crustaceans and mollusks.

Sea fireflies

Animals that did not see the light: the inhabitants of the extreme depths

Photo: Wikipedia.Light Org dehydfection in rowing plates Mertensia ovum

Grebneviks, outwardly similar to jellyfish and shells, but related to a separate systematic group, attracted not only zoologists, but also physiologists with their structure. 

A distinctive feature of these organisms is the “crests” from the cilia along the jelly -like body. A rhythmic beating creates a semblance of a rainbow caused not by luminescence, but by refraction of light on vibrating cilia.

Most of all, modern science is interested in the origin of the Grebneviks and their place in the evolutionary tree of multicellular animals. As you know, the highest animals at the embryonic stage of development have three embryo sheets: ectoderm, entoderm and mesoderma. But in primitive intestinal -breeding, which include hydra, jellyfish and corals, there are only the first two germinal leaves. The skin, digestive tract and nervous system are able to form from them.

Animals that did not see the light: the inhabitants of the extreme depths

Photo: Wikipedia.Orgcidippid larva of the Grebnevik from the genus Bolinopsis

Grebneviks occupy an intermediate link between intestinal and other representatives of multicellular animals. In the course of studying the embryonic development of the Grebneviks, scientists noted the appearance of the rudiment of the third mesoderma layer. In higher animals, connective tissue is formed from it, which is involved in the formation of muscles, the musculoskeletal system and the blood system, as well as muscle tissue, which builds the circulatory system and muscles. 

Science does not yet know what has entailed the emergence of new types of cells, so such animals play an important role in the study of the evolution of multicellular organisms.

A passionate couple

Animals that did not see the light: the inhabitants of the extreme depths

Photo: Wikipedia.Org -lane pride

A detachment of ladies, Perhaps the most recognizable systematic category among deep -sea ichthyofauna. Large size and frightening appearance made this fish a visiting card of oceanic depths. 

The bites got their name thanks to the process on the head of the females. Such a “fishing rod” on a long stalk plays the role of a “flashlight” for fishing. This organ contains a large number of glands filled with bioluminescent bacteria, consisting in close symbiotic relationships with bacons. 

Females of the bites are very voracious. They feed on all kinds of fish and crustaceans. Sometimes mining can significantly exceed a predator in size. Large shiloid teeth, a wide mouth and a well -stretched stomach allow you to maintain and swallow the extraction of almost any dimensions. Males of laders are much smaller than females and less aggressive, so they prefer to eat zooplankton.

The propagation of the rituals is peculiar. If females reach a meter in length, then males rarely exceed 5 cm. Possessing a wonderful sense of smell, the male searches for pieromones in pitch darkness. What happens next can shock any. 

The male clings to the body of the female and gradually fuses with her, becoming a kind of parasite. Their blood systems are combined, and the male organs are gradually atrophy. Only the genitals continue to function and produce seeds for the fertilization of the female. 

Mar -eyed giant

Animals that did not see the light: the inhabitants of the extreme depths

Photo: Wikipedia.OrgGigant Kalmar, NASA picture

Representatives of the oceanic depths are of giantism. Giant squid Architectis can reach a length of about 17 m, and the diameter of his eyes is a little more than 27 cm, which is comparable to the size of the soccer ball. The deep -sea cephalopods are characterized by the heterogeneity of the eyeballs – as a rule, one eye is more than the other. In addition, the eye of the mollusk has a peculiar appearance of the pupil. Such devices help squid to capture the weak bioluminescent light of marine organisms.

Architects feeds deep -sea fish and other squids. The only enemy of the mollusk is sperm whale. But the squid can stand up for himself. Its long tentacles cause even thick skin damage, so you can often observe the whaling scars left by giant squids.

Many zoologists and ordinary inhabitants attract a well -developed brain in squid. Scientists want to find out the features of his behavior, as well as study and describe in detail the body. They plan to use sperm whales to search for these deep -sea giants.

Deep -sea relative of Mokrits

Animals that did not see the light: the inhabitants of the extreme depths

Photo: Wikipedia.ORGGISTICE OPO in deep -sea aquarium

The unusual animals, inhabiting the deep waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, include very large crustaceans – Giant isopodes. Unlike small relatives – mokrits, these copies can reach 15 cm in length, and one of the types of this genus reached a length of 76 cm and weighed 1.7 kg.

Usually they can be detected at a depth of 170 m to 2140 m. It was reported that some species of this kind prefer to live at smaller depths – between 22 m and 280 m. As we noted above, the deeper the body lives, the greater its size. The same rule applies to isopodes. The record holders in size among representatives of this detachment live on a mainland slope or in the batial zone (from 1000 m).

Isopodes, as well as other representatives of the crustacean detachment, is characterized by a well -developed visual system, represented by complex facet eyes. 

Flattened and overlapping shields along the body of an arthropod allow him to defend himself from sea predators. For this, isopodes are able to curl up into the ball to avoid damage to the unprotected abdominal part of the body.

Deep -sea isopodes – scavengers. The main disposal of the dead animals of the ocean, which fall to the bottom, is carried out precisely by isopodes. In addition, these crustaceans eat sea cucumbers, sponges, radiolaria, nematode and other zobentos, as well as, possibly, living fish.

Studies of deep -sea fauna are still ongoing. Although many species are still little studied, some of them are already on the verge of extinction due to the increase in their commercial value. 

Climate change and environmental pollution primarily affects the hydrosphere and its inhabitants. Their physiology and life cycle depend on the physical and chemical characteristics of the aquatic environment, therefore it is necessary not only to study the underwater inhabitants, but also to protect the oceans. 

Other materials about amazing deep -sea inhabitants can be found on the Vlad channel in Yandex.Zen “. Read, for example, about sharkoma.

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