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Bringing the Animals of the Abyss to Life

:: Deep-Sea animals - A Selection of the Best
Photos of deep-sea animals from the abyss, from the dumbo octopus to the anglerfish.

The photos below are a select few from our Deep-sea animals gallery - to view the complete collection please visit the Deep-sea Animal Gallery

Deep-sea glass squid
Deep-sea glass squid (Teuthowenia pellucida)
A martian? No, it's the glass squid, Teuthowenia pellucida, an ecologically important Southern Hemisphere deep-sea squid. This species has light organs on its eyes and possesses the ability to roll into a ball, like an aquatic hedgehog. It is prey of many deep-sea fish (eg goblin sharks) as well as whales and oceanic seabirds.
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Dumbo Octopus
Dumbo octopus (Grimpoteuthis)
The dumbo octopus, Grimpoteuthis swims slowly above the seafloor, descending to the bottom to feed.
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Fangtooth, or ogrefish (Anoplogaster cornuta)
The fangtooth fish (Anoplogaster cornuta) is a ferocious deep-sea predator found in midwater to depths of about five kilometers (three miles). They are relatively muscular and probably chase down their prey.
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Deep-sea Lizardfish
Deep-sea Lizardfish (Bathysaurus mollis)
The mouth of a large lizardfish; note the harpoon-tipped teeth.
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Hagfish (Eptatretus cirrhatus)
The hagfish, deep-sea scavenger extroardinaire. Among other things it can tie itself in knots and secretes a bucketload of thick mucus in just a few seconds.
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Deep-sea amphipod
Deep-sea amphipod (Eusirid Amphipod)
This extraordinary eusirid amphipod, reptililian in appearance, was collected from a glass sponge growing 2.5 kilometres deep in the eastern Pacific. It was living near hydrothermal vents and measured about an inch.
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Giant tubeworm
Giant tubeworm (Riftia pachyptila)
Two species of giant tubeworm together: Riftia pachyptila in the foreground and Tevnia jerichonana in the background. Both species coexist at deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
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Eelpout fish
Hydrothermal vent eelpout fish (Thermarces cerberus)
Eelpout (Thermarces cerberus) on hydrothermal vent mussels (Bathymodiolus) these deep-sea fish are specialised to live in hydrothermal vent communities, and prey mainly upon vent crustaceans, such as amphipods and crabs.
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Giant sea spider
Deep-sea giant sea spider (Colossendeis)
A giant deep-sea spider, Colossendeis, photographed on top of basalt rubble from the Pacific's mid-ocean ridge off Central America.
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Hydrothermal vent crab
Hydrothermal vent crab (Bythograea thermydron)
A large adult hydrothermal vent crab, Bythograea thermydron, clambers over volcanic basalt.
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Bamboo coral
Deep-sea bamboo coral (Acanella)
Bamboo coral is found in all the world's deep oceans. They are strongly bioluminescent, emitting waves of blue light along their branches.
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Hydrothermal vent mussel
Hydrothermal vent mussel (Bathymodiolus)
The vent mussel community: brittle stars, worms and limpets carpet the outside of vent mussel (Bathymodiolus) shells living near a hydrothermal vent.
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Hydrothermal vent scaleworm
Hydrothermal vent scaleworm
A hydrothermal vent scale worm found living among giant tubeworms and mussels. A diverse fauna of polynoid worms inhabit hydrothermal vents, some thriving in hot water near the tips of black smokers.
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Giant tubeworm
Giant tubeworm (Tevnia jerichonana)
Tevnia is a large and attractive giant tubeworm that lives at hydrothermal vents. Like its relative Riftia, it relies on symbiotic bacteria for sustenance
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View the complete collection in our Deep-sea Animal Gallery

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