I admit I had never heard of a Solumbellula sea pen until today when I saw one Tweet from the exploration ship Nautilus features an intriguing tentacle-like creature with a long, thin stalk that reaches down to the ocean floor. I was immediately enchanted. The Nautilus team called it “an exciting discovery”.
The Sea Pen surfaced during a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) visit to an unexplored seamount near Johnston Atoll, a remote location west of Hawaii in the Pacific. It was unexpected. This is the first time this animal has been sighted in the Pacific. It is usually found in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Nautilus encountered two specimens during the dive.
Video captured at a depth of 2,994 meters (9,823 feet) shows the moment of discovery along with commentary from enthusiastic researchers. “That looks freaky,” one of them says after the ROV gets a close-up of the creature’s tentacles scavenging for food. For the scale, the stem of the sea pen is 6.6 feet (2 meters) long.
Sea pens are deposited among cnidarians, a broad group of aquatic animals that includes coral and jellyfish. “Further review of the footage and this sample will help experts determine if this is the first Pacific S.monocephalus or possibly a new species in this ocean basin,” the Nautilus team said said on Youtube.
Research Expedition in Johnston Atoll ran from June 20 to July 13 and focused on studying the biodiversity of the area. The non-profit Ocean Exploration Trust operates the vessel and streams many of its ROV dives.
E/V Nautilus has lifted the veil on many wonders of the deep, from ato a delightful” The team said: “This tremendous distribution expansion of Solumbellula in the Pacific Ocean reminds us of the importance of ocean exploration efforts to understand this diversity of our planet.”
‘Thrilling Discovery’: Surprising Sea Creature Spotted in Pacific Source link ‘Thrilling Discovery’: Surprising Sea Creature Spotted in Pacific