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Deep-Sea Respiration Expedition 2018 – Log 2

This alciopid worm was collected in the trawl net. Like, the hyperiid, this worm also has prominent red eyes. Photo credit: Karen Osborn 2018.

Deep-Sea Respiration Expedition 2018 – Log 2

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Postdoctoral Fellow Chan Lin

My goal here is to collect amphipods, specifically from the genera ParaphronimaCystisoma, StreetsiaLanceola, and Scypholanceola. Each of those hyperiids has a distinct eye type. I am interested in studying how their vision works and how their visual world is represented in the brain. This is my first ever cruise in my life. Being able to see those animals onsite with ROV Doc Ricketts is like wearing a microscope in the deep sea, a wholly new and unbelievable experience.

MBARI Collaborator and Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Research Zoologist Karen Osborn

Gossamer worms are common, mesmerizingly beautiful, segmented worms found only in the midwater. While the distinctive, paired-down features of the group make them easy to identify as tomopterids, telling one species from another was nearly impossible… until now. After almost 10 years of collecting, observing, and sequencing, we can now distinguish with confidence the 18 species found in the waters of Monterey Canyon. In the first four days of this expedition we collected eight different species of which several are undescribed (i.e., new to science).