Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition




These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...Incredible Critters of the Deep

One of the stranger looking animals we came across in Veatch Canyon, a bathysaurus. These fish use their lower jaw to scoop in the sand.

One of the more strange-looking animals we came across in Veatch Canyon, a bathysaurus. These fish use their lower jaw to scoop in the sand. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition. Download high-resolution version (1.2 Mb).

I am what you might call a “shutterbug,” or an amateur photo enthusiast. My friends and family will tell you that pretty much wherever I go, I take entirely too many pictures. As web coordinator for the 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition, I have the distinct pleasure of pouring over hundreds of amazing images every evening to choose what eventually ends up on the website.

The imagery that results from each remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dive is incredible. The ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) and camera platform Seirios were clearly designed with this in mind, from the full-time professional videographers on staff to the 18 LED lights that illuminate the seafloor. D2 doesn’t just have a single row of lights like most ROVs, it also has four adjustable swing arms each with their own light bar.

Usually the most challenging part of my job involves narrowing down the vast selection to just one image for the daily update or a few for each website log. Inevitably this means that many of the incredible images never receive the primetime coverage that they deserve—which leads to this web log.

Here you can view a selection of some of the amazing deep-sea creatures we have seen, that otherwise might not make their way on to the website.

 


 

A baby octopus (Graneledone verrucosa) moves across the seafloor as ROV Deep Discoverer explores Veatch Canyon.

A baby octopus (Graneledone verrucosa) moves across the seafloor as ROV Deep Discoverer explores Veatch Canyon. Click image for larger view and image credit.


A shrimp rests on octocoral  in Hydrographer Canyon

A shrimp rests on octocoral in Hydrographer Canyon. Click image for larger view and image credit.



 

 

A red brittle star occupies a beautiful white octocoral.

A red brittle star occupies a beautiful white octocoral. Click image for larger view and image credit.


A large white glass sponge growing on a canyon wall

A large white glass sponge growing on a canyon wall. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

 

During ROV launch one morning we had a special visitor – a whale shark! Credit: Bobby Mohr.

During ROV launch one morning we had a special visitor – a whale shark! Click image for larger view and image credit.


An eel pout, Lycenchelys paxillus, poses for ROV Deep Discoverer’s cameras.

An eel pout, Lycenchelys paxillus, poses for ROV Deep Discoverer’s cameras. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

 

Throughout the expedition we have seen several cephalopods, but  few have been as cute as this bobtail squid!

Throughout the expedition we have seen several cephalopods, but few have been as cute as this bobtail squid! Click image for larger view and image credit.


Benthic ctenophores are a rare find even for deep-sea biologists.

Benthic ctenophores are a rare find even for deep-sea biologists. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

 

A Jellyfish swims in the water column as ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) approaches the seafloor.

A jellyfish swims in the water column as ROV Deep Discoverer approaches the seafloor. Click image for larger view and image credit.


Antimora rostrata (blue cod) fish with a parasitic copepod attached.

Antimora rostrata (blue cod) fish with a parasitic copepod attached. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

 

Small shrimp hide in a glass sponge in Hydrographer Canyon.

Small shrimp hide in a glass sponge in Hydrographer Canyon. Click image for larger view and image credit.


A brittle star hangs out on a black coral

A brittle star hangs out on a black coral. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

 

We encountered a lime green heart urchin in Veatch Canyon.

We encountered a lime green heart urchin in Veatch Canyon. Click image for larger view and image credit.


Lithodid king crab finds a spiky urchin friend.

Lithodid king crab finds a spiky urchin friend. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

 

A brisingid seastar rests on a small bubblegum coral in Hydrographer Canyon.

A brisingid seastar rests on a small bubblegum coral in Hydrographer Canyon. Click image for larger view and image credit.


A small hermit crab drags a shell across the seafloor, maybe he has just found himself a new home.

A small hermit crab drags a shell across the seafloor, maybe he has just found himself a new home. Click image for larger view and image credit.



 

 

Pycnogonids or sea spiders have muscles so small that they are only a single cell surrounded by connective tissue!

Pycnogonids or sea spiders have muscles so small that they are only a single cell surrounded by connective tissue! Click image for larger view and image credit.


Whiplash (Mastigoteuthis) squid waits in the water column while hunting.

Whiplash (Mastigoteuthis) squid waits in the water column while hunting. Click image for larger view and image credit.


 

 

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