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The Evolution and Adaptations of Deep Sea Animals Matt Brennan.

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1 The Evolution and Adaptations of Deep Sea Animals Matt Brennan

2 What is the deep ocean? Aphotic zone – Depths > 200m Lack of food – Falling organic matter Very high pressures – Between 20 - 1,000 atmospheres Low temperatures – 3-10 degrees Celsius Lack of oxygen

3 “The Deep”

4 Research Objectives Investigate how deep sea Anglerfish (Ceratioidei) and Macropinna microstoma have adapted in order to survive in harsh environments. Investigate possible phyogenetic relationships between Anglerfish in the family Ceratioidei

5 Anglerfish - Lophiiformes Lophiiformes Primitive Lophiiformes – Shallow water – Bony fish – structure of the first dorsal-fin spine - bearing a terminal bait or esca – The teeth in the jaws are numerous, small 322 living species – 5 Diverse sub-orders

6 Anglerfish - Ceratioidei Ceratioidei – Sexual dimorphism Male dwarf Loss of illicium Denticular teeth Female - Small eyes Worldwide distribution – Depth > 300m most species-rich vertebrate taxon within the bathypelagic zone

7 Bioluminescence Chemical reaction where energy is released in the form of light Bioluminescence in ceratioid – escae w/ bacteria filled vesicles Used to – lure predators – Attract males watch?v=UXl8F-eIoiM Solution to Lack of light?

8 Sexual Parasitism – Male Ceretioidei large well-developed eyes Loss of illicium relatively huge nostrils – Sensing female pheromone Denticular teeth – Loss normal teeth after metamorphosis – jaws for grasping and holding Solution to Lack of food?

9 Male Denticular Teeth Denticular teeth – Loss of normal teeth after metamorphosis – Pincer jaws for grasping and holding – Upper and lower jaws attacked permanently by tissues – Obligate parisitism Solution to lack of food?

10 Macropinna microstoma - Barreleye Solutions to light and food: – barrel-shaped, tubular eyes – Look up towards sun/surface Maximize light Increase contrast perception – Can see prey against light on surface Sensitivity to bioluminescence – Small mouth Accurate Uses eye movement to follow prey Transparent shield covering head – Protection from prey JU – watch this JU

11 Tubular eyes Evolutionary change resulted in changes in locations of muscle insertions – Obliquus muscles pull the eye forward and down, and the rectus superior and rectus internus returning it to an upright position. Solution to catching prey?


13 Conclusions Lots of research needs to be done – Relativelely new science! – Environmental factors are harsh for humans too! – Lack of live specimen A need for the new Generation scientists

14 Works cited Robison, B. and K.R. Reisenbichler (2008). Macropinna microstoma and the paradox of its tubular eyes. Copeia, 4: 780-784. Robison, B.H., K.R. Reisenbichler, J.C. Hunt, and S.H.D. Haddock (2003). Light production by the arm tips of the deep-sea cephalopod Vampyroteuthis infernalis. Biological Bulletin, 205: 102–109. Maddison, D. R. and K.-S. Schulz (eds.) 2007. The Tree of Life Web Project. Internet address:

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