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Latest Whale fall Stories

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2010-12-07 08:05:00

Dead whales that sink down to the seafloor provide a feast for deep-sea animals that can last for years. Previous research suggested that such "whale falls" were homes for unique animals that lived nowhere else. However, after sinking five whale carcasses in Monterey Canyon, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) found that most of the animals at these sites were not unique to whale falls, but were common in other deep-sea environments as well. Nonetheless, the...

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2009-11-11 08:30:00

It sounds like a classic horror story"”eyeless, mouthless worms lurk in the dark, settling onto dead animals and sending out green "roots" to devour their bones. In fact, such worms do exist in the deep sea. They were first discovered in 2002 by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), who were using a robot submarine to explore Monterey Canyon. But that wasn't the end of the story. After "planting" several dead whales on the seafloor, a team of biologists...

2009-07-10 10:10:00

Dr. Craig R. Smith, oceanography professor at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, recently published a paper in Marine Ecology Progress Series titled, "Biogeochemistry of a deep-sea whale fall: sulfate, reduction, sulfide efflux and methanogenesis."The research by Smith and collaborators is the first detailed study of microbial processes at a deep-sea whale fall. The work evaluated the biogeochemical effects of a 30-ton whale carcass deployed at 1,675 mile depth for...


Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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