Going to extremes: Diving for gelatinous zooplankton in polar seas
Richard Harbison, Ph.D.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Friday, June 10, 2005
Pacific Forum – 12:00 Noon
Bipolarity, where extremely similar animals are found in both the Arctic and Antarctic, and not in between, was first documented in the 19th Century by Carl Chun. In order to better understand the origin of this phenomenon, we studied gelatinous animals, primarily ctenophores, in both regions. While there are a few species that seem to exhibit bipolarity, others are found in only a single region. The two regions are quite different, both geologically and hydrographically. It is clear that the only connection between the two regions is through the deep sea, which was not open to many species until relatively recently.