Back to basics... well at least my basics - The Deep Sea.
I know its been a while since I posted something on the deep sea. USAID and the international development world has been rather consuming. The deep sea rarely comes up in that context - though I did have a meeting with Marine Conservation Science Institute a couple of weeks ago. A smile swam across my face when I saw the East Pacific Rise as one of their 'Jewels'.
To the point... there's been a new discovery. I know... this happens all the time in the deep sea, but its a great reminder that we don't even know what's in our backyard.
A new seep was imaged and sampled in Baltimore Canyon earlier this month. Mussels extended as far as they could see -- admittedly from a submarine or ROV camera the field of view is limited by light. They even found sea urchins and sea cucumbers - yeah for echinoderms.
|A lithodid crab seen on the mussel bed at 1,600 meters. Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2013 - Pathways to the Abyss, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS|
Few cold seeps are known along the eastern coast. The East Coast represents a dispersal challenge -- the larvae of many seep mussels are thought to spend time near the surface where the Gulf Stream could whisk them away. The usual dispersal/connectivities apply -- where do they come from and where do they go?