Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Deep Sea Adaptations

            The creative adaptations of organisms that live in the deep sea really caught my attention when we covered the deep sea in class.  When I found myself talking to my sister on the phone about the wavelength of red light and receptors to view this color, I realized that I had a solid presentation topic.

            I want to present about the adaptations and strategies for both defense and predation that deep sea creatures utilize.  The most obvious adaptation is bioluminescence, so I will talk about how this works with the cephalopod Vampyroteuthis infernalis as a specific example.

            Another adaptation is structural modifications.  The gastropod Crysomallon squamiferum is a fascinating example, as they have developed an intricate layer of iron-plated armor for protection in this environment.  Transparency as in the Teuthowenia pellucida squid, chameleon behaviors such as in Sepia officinalis cuttlefish, and red perception like Malacosteus niger dragonfish aid in avoiding predation.  Muscle consistency and immunity may also be included.

            Lastly, behavioral alterations in reproduction and feeding will be discussed.  Some sponges are carnivores at these depths, and parasitic reproduction is a technique unique to angler fish in the deep ocean as far as we currently know.

            Throughout the presentation, I plan to mention details about how these organisms have been studied.  As the presentation nears, I will decide which adaptation and species to select for a more in-depth focus.

Sources:
Deep Ocean
Bioluminescent cephalopod
Carnivorous sponges
Iron plating
Cuttlefish
Dragonfish
Angler fish

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