A cluster of sea urchins (and a single crinoid), living on an elevated rocky feature. It is typical for suspension feeders, such as the crinoid, to live on elevated features such as this to get access to food from the currents in the water column, however it is not clear why these urchins were so densely clustered here. Until this dive, we have not encountered such a high density of urchins in any one location. It may have been a spawning aggregation.

A cluster of sea urchins (and a single crinoid), living on an elevated rocky feature. It is typical for suspension feeders, such as the crinoid, to live on elevated features such as this to get access to food from the currents in the water column; however, it is not clear why these urchins were so densely clustered here. Until this dive, we have not encountered such a high density of urchins in any one location. It may have been a spawning aggregation. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

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2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas

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