During the descent on Dive 06, a one to two-meter squid attached itself to the back of ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) and hung out there for several minutes before coming around to the front of the vehicle, allowing us to get some great imagery of it. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2015 Hohonu Moana. Download larger version (jpg, 209 KB).
Today’s dive investigated two cone features along an extension of Hutchinson Seamount, part of the Johnston Seamounts. Dive 06 began with an eventful descent as a one to two-meter squid attached itself to the back of ROV Deep Discoverer (D2) and hung out there for several minutes before coming around to the front of the vehicle. Once D2 reached the bottom of the first cone feature and began the transit upslope, we documented a high diversity of corals including several species of octocorals and black corals, squat lobsters, anemones, sponges, brittle stars, sea star predation on bamboo corals, and crinoids. After reaching the summit of the first cone, D2 conducted a midwater transit to the second feature, documenting salps, siphonophores, and jellyfish. Fauna at the second cone was similar to the first and included octocorals, a lobster, black corals, crinoids, polychaetes, sea stars, and a very large anemone at the summit. At both features, the highest density and diversity of corals was at the top of the feature.