Deep-sea creatures, living in oblivion yet threatened from environmental disasters

ocean floor

The floor of the earth’s vast oceans still holds many elusive creatures, a load of which seems threatened even before they have become known to humankind. Scientists fear that these deep-sea creatures are also unfortunately susceptible to environmental catastrophes taking place on the surface of the earth.

Marine ecosystem may be even more interconnected than was previously thought by scientists. A study of a species of tiny shrimp living around deep-sea vents has found that they produce microscopic larvae as part of their life cycle and that when these larvae migrate they have to rely on food coming down from the sunlit waters above.

Therefore, the animals living on the deep seabed have to time the hatching of their eggs to coincide with spring blooms of microscopic plant life growing at the surface, a link that has been overlooked.

This seasonal reproductive cycle is likely to affect these creatures of hidden depths even if they remain isolated from the rest of the world. So if global warming and climate change manages to to alter the pattern of life on the surface waters, these changes will reach these remote corners on the ocean floor.

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Source: The Independent

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