Four new carnivorous sponge species have recently been discovered in the deep sea. This short video comes from Becky Crew’s post on the Running Ponies blog, it provides basic natural history of these unique organisms and gives us a visualization of their habitats several kilometres beneath the oceans surface. According to Crew:
Following their discovery in 2012 of the fantastic-looking carnivorous harp sponge (Chondrocladia lyra) off the coast of California and almost four kilometres deep, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) researchers Lonny Lundsten, Henry Reiswig, and William Austin have managed to identify four more ‘killer sponges’ using remotely operated, cam-wielding vehicles. The species are described in the current issue of ZooTaxa.
The vast unexplored depths of the worlds oceans continue to surprise us with amazing (and sometimes horrific) adaptations to extreme environments!