Dive 11: Kingman Cone
May 12, 2017
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Dive 11: A Toothy Grin

The team got up close with this smalltooth sand tiger shark while exploring Kingman Cone at a depth of ~1,025 meters (~3,360 feet). Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin. Download (mp4, 25.2 MB)

Today's dive was conducted on a conical feature along the eastern slope of Kingman Reef. During descent we saw a dumbo octopus, which is always exciting on Octopus Friday! The seafloor throughout the dive was manganese-encrusted carbonate with several large boulders and a few unusually weathered features. Soft sediment was between the boulders and rock debris. As the vehicles reached the seafloor, we observed a ray-finned fish called a halosaur at about 1,030 meters (3,400 feet) of depth. While enjoying our approximately three hours of bottom time, we observed rock pens, several different types of urchins, sea stars, anemones, acorn worms, hydroids, a diversity of octocorals, black corals, brittle stars, sponges, shrimp, and squat lobsters. Several of the corals observed were very large, and we documented one high-diversity, high-density community. We also saw several fishes, including oreo dories, rattails, and a hatchet fish. A favorite observation of many today was the smalltooth sand tiger shark. Unfortunately, the remotely operated vehicle tether got a loop in it that jeopardized the safety of the vehicles and we had to recover early.