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First Look At the Animals of the New Hebrides Trench

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the under-the-sea dept.

Earth 40

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have released pictures of the animals they've found in the New Hebrides Trench, more than 7,000m down. 'The team used an unmanned lander fitted with cameras to film the deep-sea creatures. The scientists said the ecology of this trench differed with other regions of the deep that had been studied. "We're starting to find out that what happens at one trench doesn't necessarily represent what happens in all the trenches," said Dr Alan Jamieson, from Oceanlab at the University of Aberdeen, UK, who carried out the expedition with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand.'"

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What happens in the trench stays in the trench... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46385991)

Guess they don't get around much.

Yum. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46385995)

They look delicious.

Hey, Clock Monkeys! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46386003)

T-minus Six Days and Counting. Citizens Everywhere Will Re-Enforce Damage to Their Biological Timing for Society's Good; Will You Be One of Them? Jump, Boy, Jump!

Cliche (1)

liwee (3407373) | about 8 months ago | (#46386019)

No godzilla?

Re:Cliche (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 8 months ago | (#46386045)

New Hebrides - I was expecting a Melanesian relative of Nessie.

Re:Cliche (2, Funny)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 8 months ago | (#46386117)

No Spongebob either :-(

Trenches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46386215)

Does evolution in a trench follow the same process of animals stuck on an island? Do things diverge if they can't get out?

Re:Trenches (0, Flamebait)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46386275)

Does evolution in a trench follow the same process of animals stuck on an island? Do things diverge if they can't get out?

No - Noah dropped these out of the ark with lead weights on them - just as he was off to Australia to drop off the kangaroo [bay-of-fundie.com]

Re:Trenches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46388913)

Wow, that linked article is almost as bad or worse than the Conservapedia article it is trying to make fun of. It has self-consistency and jumping to conclusions issues just as much as it tries to call out. While there is a lot of stupid on Conservapedia that can and possibly should be called out, that response just seems to increase the diversity of stupid on the net instead of creating something better.

Under the Sea (1)

BeckyAEllis (3509867) | about 8 months ago | (#46386221)

Where's Nemo?

Re:Under the Sea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46386537)

He got one glance of a singing, dancing crab and left.

Atmospheric pressure (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 8 months ago | (#46386315)

I really don't understand how anything survives down there. The amount of pressure must be immense.

Re:Atmospheric pressure (4, Informative)

expatriot (903070) | about 8 months ago | (#46386395)

The pressure inside equals the pressure outside (which is true for us also). They are not hollow glass spheres.

The pressure does change chemistry as reactions are affected by temperature and pressure.

Re:Atmospheric pressure (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | about 8 months ago | (#46386725)

You mean they could end up as diamonds if they swim deep enough ? ;-)

Re:Atmospheric pressure (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46387369)

Just don't travel up and down the water column with trapped gas and you'll be fine.

Oh, you breathe air? Well, that presents extra challenges.

So much solar energy gets converted to chemical energy and then falls to the bottom of the ocean - it was more or less inevitable that surface life would evolve and exploit it somehow.

Re:Atmospheric pressure (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about 8 months ago | (#46387375)

And that's why when you try to bring creatures up from that depth, they often fall to pieces. The pictures of blobfish that we usually see are pictures of the fish after they've been hauled up. They look totally different when they're still alive.

Re:Atmospheric pressure (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 8 months ago | (#46387475)

The trick is to bring them up over a period of hours, or even days, rather than to reel them in as fast as you can. Let the pressures equalize slowly, and you can get your blobfish aboard all in one piece. Scuba diving classes teach you that much.

Re:Atmospheric pressure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46388813)

Many of the species won't survive no matter how slow you bring them up (well, maybe if you do so over the course of many generations timescale...). There are still some that have small gas vesicles in cells, and different membrane compositions in cells to account for what pressure does to the chemistry and structure of such things. Their metabolism ends up being kind of frail and they die without the pressure.

Re:Atmospheric pressure (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 8 months ago | (#46413589)

Better to just capture them in a container that can maintain the pressure as you bring them to the surface.

Re:Atmospheric pressure (1)

the biologist (1659443) | about 8 months ago | (#46390341)

Pressure bothers us because we have internal air spaces, which get compressed. If you were full of nigh-incompressible water, the depth isn't so much of a problem.

Really? (4, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about 8 months ago | (#46386667)

"...We're starting to find out that what happens at one trench doesn't necessarily represent what happens in all the trenches..."

When speciation is happening in adjacent subway tunnels in the London Underground over as short a span as 100 years, I think it's pretty certain that deep-sea trenches separated by hundreds if not thousands of miles will evolve rather dramatically differently?

Re:Really? (2)

cusco (717999) | about 8 months ago | (#46387181)

Citation needed. I mean really, that's incredibly cool. If you're talking about the molestus mosquito, the Wikipedia entry seems self-contradictory in places and unclear how the thing is spreading across the ocean to other subway systems.

Re:Really? (3, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | about 8 months ago | (#46389173)

That is what I was thinking of when I made the comment, cf http://www.nature.com/hdy/jour... [nature.com]
http://ncse.com/files/pub/evol... [ncse.com]

I thought the science was reasonably settled on this, apparently /. commenters beg to differ. :)

Re:Really? (1)

cusco (717999) | about 8 months ago | (#46394457)

Neat, thanks for the citations, very interesting. Especially the second one. I hadn't heard of that before.

Re:Really? (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 8 months ago | (#46387417)

"Finding out" is different than "predicted." It's all well and good to assume that what happens in one trench is not going to be true in other trenches, given the isolation, but you don't really know unless you go to the other trenches.

Also, skimming the wiki article on the london subway mosquitoes you might be referring to [wikipedia.org] , it looks more like the mosquitoes diverged by taking advantage of a new niche, not reproductive isolation. They evolved because it's fairly warm year round, there are people in them, and few predators. It mentions that they have been found in subway systems throughout the world. If the creatures in one trench have a range of above a trench, a reasonable hypothesis would be that they fill all trenches as they're one of the few things that can live there, and that most trenches would be filled with similar life.

Re:Really? (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46387427)

In the absence of data, science tends to assume that the observations in hand also apply to places not observed yet. When it comes true, everybody cheers. The rest of the time, there's a progression of "that's strange... I don't believe you - prove it!... Hmmm, we need a grant to study this."

There should be a "meta-science of the unknown" to explain how much we don't know, based on the variability of our existing observations - how likely we are to find new and surprising things, based on how often our existing knowledge base has been surprised in the past. Sort of how they choose space exploration missions, but certainly it can be applied to many under-explored areas on Earth, too.

Re:Really? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46387547)

When speciation is happening in adjacent subway tunnels in the London Underground

Not sure if you are referring to the mosquitos or the variations in the dress styles of the chavs hanging around the platforms.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46388731)

When speciation is happening in adjacent subway tunnels in the London Underground

Not sure if you are referring to the mosquitos or the variations in the dress styles of the chavs hanging around the platforms.

Aren't all chavs able to interbreed and thus considred a single species?

Re:Really? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 8 months ago | (#46387917)

When speciation is happening in adjacent subway tunnels in the London Underground over as short a span as 100 years, I think it's pretty certain that deep-sea trenches separated by hundreds if not thousands of miles will evolve rather dramatically differently?

"Thinking" that something is "pretty certain" is different from knowing for certain - the former is nothing, the latter is science.

Re: Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46398869)

Some of the trenches share species but the patterns between trenches are not consistent across species. We are looking at the composition, patterns and how they have evolved to their environment.

The right way to do it (0)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#46386795)

The team used an unmanned lander

Never send a man to do a robot's job - just like space exploration should be done.

We must send divers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46386853)

Manned sea exploration is very important science and we must send more divers for like all the spinoffs and benefits of a manned sea exploration program. Because science. Computers got better so surely it must be a lot easier now for people to go 7 kilometers below sea level. We have to start colonizing the sea floor for the species' long-term survival.

BLUE HADES (1)

recently_added (1758656) | about 8 months ago | (#46387043)

Doesn't this violate the Benthic Treaty?

7000m ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46387093)

How far is that in feet?

Re:7000m ? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 8 months ago | (#46387515)

Uhhhhh - for the mentally challenged, you can make a good enough approximation by just calling a meter a yard. 7000 yards would be 21,000 feet. 7 kilometers, or roughly 4 miles, since a kilometer is .6 miles. Those who are not mentally challenged can either remember the actual conversion factors, or they can use http://lmgtfy.com/?q=how+many+... [lmgtfy.com]

Re:7000m ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46387561)

About 177.85

BBC (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 8 months ago | (#46387195)

Who could have guessed they have credit cards down there???

The Brits got such a great deal with partially funding BBC via advertising. Instead of directly funding BBC via taxes, they now spend the same amount on increased products prices, and get to watch advertising instead of useful programming.

Re:BBC (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46387437)

It's the American cable TV model, something I never understood and have never subscribed to... premium programming, with Ads!

Re:BBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46387541)

Nah, the north american model is "300 channels of advertising for $69/month as a prerequisite to which you can add some useful content at $5.99 per channel". Plus cable box rental. Plus extra outlets fees. Plus some more fees. Plus tax. Offer valid for the first 6 months.

Re:BBC (1)

Fusen (841730) | about 8 months ago | (#46389191)

There are no ads on the BBC for British people though?

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