What lives DOWN THERE?

Natives at these depths include:

Rat-tail fish live in all major oceanic basins and are some of the most common bottom-dwelling fish. These slow, undulating swimmers scan the sea floor for a variety of mobile prey.

Glass sponges get their name from their appearance out of water. As they're brought up from their deep habitats, their bodies collapse, leaving the skeleton, which is made of silica,looking like spun glass §.

Giant isopods live on the shelves or slopes of the world's sea floors. They're scavengers that feed mostly on dead fish and invertebrates, but they may also ambush injured prey. Chemical sensors on their antennae detect food §.

Brittle stars are named for their ability to break off and shed their arms when attacked. They "walk" on their arms and feed mostly on floating organic matter or scavenge dead organisms on the bottom §.

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428

Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)