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The deep seafloor is generally considered to be quite food poor away from the seep areas. This leads to a series of adaptations in the animals living there. Here we see a swimming sea cucumber evolved from benthic animals that feed upon the sediment. This one is capable of swimming over the seafloor using highly-modified feet that have turned into fins. If you look closely you can see the mud-filled gut inside the semi-transparent animal. When it finds a suitable spots it will drop to the bottom to feed on the sediment and then swim away again to find another suitable spot. Video courtesy of Bob Carney, Louisiana State University, NOAA-OE.

 

Related Links

Expedition to the Deep Slope 2007

Expedition to the Deep Slope 2007: June 18 Log

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery