Behind the scenes

Bolinopsis infundibulum, a well-adapted ctenophore

The ctenophore Bolinopsis infundibulum.

The ctenophore Bolinopsis infundibulum.

May 29, 2014

The ocean’s surface waters and the deep sea provide contrasting living conditions for marine animals. The deep sea is cold with high pressure and limited food and oxygen. The surface is warm with low pressure and more food and oxygen. The ctenophore Bolinopsis infundibulum has evolved to survive in both habitats. Steven Haddock’s research group recently collected this species near the surface during SCUBA dives and as deep as 2,000 meters using a remotely operated vehicle. With collaborators Erik Thuesen and Joseph Ryan, Haddock and his colleagues are comparing the physiology, proteins, and genes of individuals that live at the extremes of the depth range. This work gives insight to how marine organisms adapt to life in the deep sea.