Ruth Meadows, July 5, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Ruth S. Meadows
Onboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow 
June 12 – July 18, 2009 

Mission: Census of Marine Life (MAR-Eco)
Geographical Area: Mid- Atlantic Ridge; Charlie- Gibbs Fracture Zone
Date: July 5, 2009

dumbo octopus
Dumbo octopus

Weather Data from the Bridge 
Temperature: 10.3o C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: 8.9 kts

Science and Technology Log 

Dr. Mike Vecchione holds a very large dumbo octopus from one of the deep sea trawls. This octopus got its name from the large fins that look like the ears of “Dumbo” the elephant. It is a benthic cephalopod (an ancient group in the phylum Mollusca) that lives above the floor of the ocean. It probably feed on copepods and other small crustaceans, but we don’t know much about its biology. This particular species (Cirrothauma magna) has only been caught a few times before.

a very large example of a slickhead
A very large example of a slickhead

John Galbraith and Tom Letessier hold a very large example of a slickhead. These fish are dark in color and their exterior is slippery. These soft-bodied soggy fish are common in waters greater than 1000m deep. They get their common name from the slimy look of their head. They lack a swim bladder and make themselves as light as possible by having weak bones and watery flesh. Chimeras are distantly related to sharks and rays and can be found at depths up to 2500m. These fish have cartilage instead of bones. We caught several of these in the benthic trawls, but this one was the largest.  Most of these fish have a venomous spine at the back of its dorsal fin.

This is a chimaera that weighed in at 12 kilograms.
This is a chimaera that weighed in at 12 kilograms.
Basti (from Germany) is holding another chimaera, Venda (from Portugal) has a slickhead and Meridith (from Boston) has a lizardfish from the last benthic trawl of the cruise.
Basti (from Germany) with a chimaera, Venda (from Portugal) has a slickhead and Meridith (from Boston) has a lizardfish.

Do You Know? 

What would happen between a shark and an octopus? Find out here.   

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