Image credits: David Shale
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Purple and peculiarDuring a research cruise in the North Atlantic Ocean, scientists aboard the British vessel James Cook cataloged a menagerie of marine organisms, including more than 10 possible new species. This is a purple variety of the enteropneust acorn worm, which may be a transitional species between invertebrates and backboned animals. The creature feeds on seafloor sediment, leaving behind variable wavy traces. Acorn worm
Acorn WormEnteropneust worm from the North Atlantic Ocean; southern white variety: Feeds on sea floor sediment and has been observed swimming.
Scale WormImage: David Shale-- (Polychaete) . - , , , , , . - . - . .
Sea Cucumber Peniagone diaphana: Feeds on the sea floor, but is capable of swimming and is found on hills and valleys of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
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Holothurian, Sea Cucumber ; Peniagone porcella: Feeds on the sea floor but is capable of swimming and is found on hills and valleys of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
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Deap Sea Jellyfish Trachymedusa: Feeds on plankton and small crustacea near the sea floor.
Comb JellyBathypelagic ctenophore: Found close to the sea floor on the Mid-Atlantic ridge
( : Ctenophora) - . . . , . :Tentaculata Nuda
A specialised starfish that captures plankton (krill) on its intricate arms.Basket StarBasket stars are a group of brittle stars. Many of them have characteristic many-branched arms. They generally live in deep sea habitats.The life span in the wild is up to 35 years. They weigh around 11lbs, or 5kg. Like other echinoderms, basket stars lack blood and achieve gas exchange via their water vascular system.The basket stars are the largest ophiuroids with measuring up to 70cm in arm length with a disk diameter of 14cm.Gorgonocephalus.
ISIS - our deep sea robot - is a great bit of equipment that grabs the imagination of the public and the scientific community alike. There is something about these deep diving robots exploring the deepest and darkest depth that has captivated people since the ancestors of our ROV explored the inner depths of the Titanic....
Marine scientists return with rare creatures from the deepImage credits: David Shale
One group of creatures they observed - and captured - during their six weeks in the Atlantic aboard the RRS James Cook is believed to be close to the missing evolutionary link between backboned and invertebrate animals. Using the latest technology they also saw species in abundance that until now had been considered rare.Researchers were also surprised to discover such diversity in habitat and marine life in locations just a few miles apart.Scientists were completing the last leg of MAR-ECO - an international research programmer, part of the Census of Marine Life, which is enhancing our understanding of the occurrence, distribution and ecology of animals along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores.The University of Aberdeen is leading the UK contribution to the project which involves scientists from 16 nations. Key collaborators in the UK include Newcastle University and the National Oceanography Centre.
Scientists analyse data from ISIS during a dive During more than 300 hours of diving - using Isis the UKs deepest diving remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to depths of between 700m right down to 3,600m - researchers surveyed flat plains, cliff faces and slopes of the giant mountain range that divides the Atlantic Ocean into two halves, east and west. The research was focused in two areas - beneath the cold waters north of the Gulf Stream and the warmer waters to the south. Professor Monty Priede, Director of the University of Aberdeens Oceanlab, said: We were surprised at how different the animals were on either side of the ridge which is just tens of miles apart.In the west the cliffs faced east and in the east the cliffs faced west. The terrain looked the same, mirror images of each other, but that is where the similarity ended. It seemed like we were in a scene from Alice Through the Looking Glass
Above: The Pilot Graphical User Interface that allow the pilot to control ISIS using a touch-sensitive screen. This allows much finer movements than using "sticks" and can move the vehicle in increments as small as 30cm
This voyage was part of the UK contribution to the Census of Marine Life (http://www.coml.org/) programme MARECO (http://www.mar-eco.no). This was the last in a series of four annual voyages undertaken since 2007 investigating all aspects of life over the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Isis can work at depths of 6000 metres full ocean depth. The vehicle is maintained by the National Oceanography Centre on behalf of UK science and scientists.
National Marine Facilities - Sea SystemsIsis The Isis Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) completed successful commissioning trials of new navigation systems in July 2006. The dive depth of 6500m will enable UK scientists to study remote sea bottom regions, and the range of cameras, tools and manipulators that Isis can carry enables her to undertake many diverse missions.
In January 2007 Isis was deployed on RRS James Clark Ross (combined cruises JR157 and JR166) successfully made 16 dives to acheive 158 hours at the bottom to investigate the seabed and deep marine life in Marguerite Bay, Antartica.
The place where we control ISIS This is where we control ISIS. the control van contains all the necessary controls for piloting ISIS and conducting science. The van contains lots of computer screens and monitors that give it more the appearance of a space craft control deck in a sci-fi movie!
The ROV needs to be deployed and recovered from the sea. The ISIS Launch & recovery system does what the label says! It is responsible for picking ISIS up from her platform and placing her over the water. Once ISIS is over the water, she can then be lowered and the dive can begin. The system also acts in reverse. Hauling ISIS from the water and bringing her back onboard and placing her back on the platform.
ISIS ROV FEATURES
A framegrab from ISIS's video camera showing a spare propellor on the deck of a wreck. This dived studied the effects of the wreck on the marine environment
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:Census of Marine Life :www.clarita-efraim.com