What is the Secret of Underwater Life at Such Extreme Cold?

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Deep sea creatures need special adaptations to survive at such extreme cold. They need to find food, swim through ice, resist pressure and stay alive.

There are a number of different types of animals that live in the deep ocean, but some are truly special. Let’s take a look at some of them!

Diel Vertical Migration

Diel Vertical Migration is a behavior where plankton and zooplankton – as well as large fish – move from the surface to the deep water in search of food or for protection from predators. It’s an interesting way for life to cope with the extreme cold of the ocean.

Researchers have studied the physiology of a variety of species that exhibit this behavior. Here, they found that sixgill sharks – a type of shark that lives in the subtropical waters off Hawai’i – undergo pronounced diel vertical migration and spent considerable time at depth (below 500 m during the day and above 200-350 m during the night) experiencing a wide range of temperature (5-20degC), dissolved oxygen conditions (10-25% saturation).

This phenomenon is believed to have a number of physiological and evolutionary benefits. One of the most important is that it gives filter-feeding zooplankton an advantage over pelagic predators, which are often fish.

Bioluminescent Fish

Most ocean creatures glow with bioluminescence, a light that comes from an animal’s own or a bacteria’s chemical reaction. Among the most common are fish, squid, and shrimp. Jellyfish and their relatives are also luminescent, as are some corals.

Bioluminescent animals use their glowing organs and bacteria to defend themselves, deceive predators, communicate with other members of their group, attract mates, and lure prey into their trap. For instance, the vampire squid releases a cloud of glowing fluid instead of ink to distract a predator while it swims away.

Another example of defensive bioluminescence is the glow-flashing bacteria found in a type of marine fish called flashlight fish. These fish use their specialized light-flashing bacteria to keep their schools of fish together during the night.

Big Eyes

The secret to underwater life at such extreme cold, according to scientists, is that giant squid have big eyes. At up to 10 inches in diameter, the eyes of giant squid are the largest in the animal kingdom.

The eye is a vital part of the squid’s navigational tool, allowing them to spot food and predators. It can also be used to detect the presence of a moving object.

This is why they need to blink frequently. That’s how they keep their eyes lubricated and avoid frostbite.

However, their big eyes may not be able to see through the deep ocean’s dark waters, especially when it comes to small prey. That’s why they need to draw in more light than most other animals.

In order to do this, Walter (Christoph Waltz) convinces a local jazz club owner to rent him some wall space for his and Margaret’s paintings. When Walter’s paintings are exhibited there, it becomes a front-page story in the local newspaper and the club is packed with people wanting to see them.

High Pressure

In the deep ocean, pressure builds up, reaching a staggering 1,100 times higher than at sea level. This can kill a person, but animals living in the deep ocean are able to withstand it with incredible efficiency.

In this zone, known as the bathypelagic, creatures must survive with little to no food, constant cold, and constant darkness. They have a slow metabolism, and rely on marine snow, which is a mix of tiny organisms that fall from above to the rocky bottom.

There are many different species of fish that live in this zone, including the black hagfish, viperfish, anglerfish, and sleeper shark. These creatures are adapted to withstand the extreme pressure, and they have squishy bodies and slimy skin.

These creatures are called extremophiles, and they thrive at vents and seeps in the deep sea. They have to withstand freezing cold, perpetual darkness, and high pressure. They also have to rely on alternative sources of chemical energy that do not come from the sun.

What is the Secret of Underwater Life at Such Extreme Cold?

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