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Creatures of the deep:The evolution of life on our planet has created real ones "natural" monsters,creatures that to adapt to the most extreme environments have sacrificed aesthetics to focus on functionality, with results that are nothing short of terrifying.
The abyssal environment begins from about 200 m deep. The amount of light that arrives is not enough to sustain plant life. The ecosystem depends on waste and organic substances that descend from above. At even greater depths there is not alonedark and food shortages. There are also very high pressures and thecold. Furthermore, the very low population density makes it difficult for the sexes to meet during the reproduction period.
Food is scarce and every opportunity to feed must be exploited to the maximum. So the scary teeth, the huge mouths and the grotesque look are inevitable. Some fish have extensible mouths and stomachs. This allows deep-sea creatures to swallow prey larger than themselves.
One of the most incredible adaptations to the darkness of the abyss is the presence ofphotophores. That is, organs capable of producing light. And they serve to recognize each other between beings of the same species as bait to attract prey.
Creatures of the abyss: the 10 most monstrous
Here is a list with descriptions of the 10 most monstrous and disturbing creatures of the abyss.
10. Hians megalodicopy
The Megalodicopy Hians it is a species of tunicates of the Ascidiacea class that live anchored along the walls and on the bottom of the marine canyons of the Pacific Ocean.
They have a large hood-shaped mouth, very sensitive to the movements of the preys, which, once captured, are digested only after a few days.
Appearance is a cross between a jellyfish and a carnivorous plant.
9. Neoclinus Banchardi
The Neoclinus Banchardi it is a saltwater fish widespread in the eastern Pacific: from the bay of San Francisco, California, to Baja California, Mexico.
It inhabits the rocky or sandy coasts in shallow waters (from -3 to -73 m), finding refuge in shells, holes, ravines and wrecks.
The Neoclinus blachardi it has a stocky head, with protruding eyes and an enormous mouth with extensible jaws connected to the head by wide elastic membranes, with a body that shrinks and becomes tapered in the long caudal peduncle, ending in a small and rounded caudal fin.
It reaches a maximum length of 30 cm, for 6 years of age.
It has territorial and aggressive behavior: it does not hesitate to assume a threatening attitude by widening its wide jaws to scare away any predators and invaders of the territory.
8. Californian opisthoteuthis (Dumbo octopus)
L'Californian Opisthoteuthis is an octopus known by the common name ofoctopus Dumbo. Present in California (from which it takes its scientific name) up to a depth of 350 m, but in Japan it goes further, up to a depth of 560 m (normally 530 m).
It is an unusual-looking octopus, because it has a flattened shape and shorter tentacles. Over half of each of the eight tentacles is lined with a membrane, which promotes movement. Living in the abyss they have no ink pouch, because this would be useless. The livery is not very variable as in other species, including the distant cousin Octopus vulgaris, in fact it is usually pink-red or yellow.
They have two ear-like protrusions placed on their heads that resemble the ears of the Disney character of the same name. It shares the same name as other species belonging to the suborder Cirrina, particularly with the genus Grimpoteuthis.
Two characters from the famous filmFinding Nemo (Pearl, with her father) are just godsCalifornian Opisthoteuthis. The choice of this animal to play the characters made the species, previously little known, more known.
7. Psychrolutes marcidus
Commonly known asblob fish, is a fish belonging to the family Psychrolutidae.
This species lives in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in the southern Australian coastal waters, at a depth between 600 and 1,200 meters.
It has a flaccid body, not very compressed at the hips, with a large head and large eyes. The fins are broad and rounded. The livery is simple: the whole body is pinkish gray, mottled with brown. The mouth and lips are pinkish-white. The meat of this fish is mostly made up of a gelatinous mass of slightly lower density than water, which allows it to float above the seabed without wasting energy swimming. Due to the inaccessibility of its habitat, it has rarely been studied and photographed in nature.
It is currently at risk of extinction due to bottom trawling.
For its appearance it was voted the "ugliest animal in the world", being elected asmascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.
6. Astroscopus guttatus
L'Astroscopus guttatus, also known as the northern astronomer, is a fish that inhabits the sandy bottoms of the temperate waters of the western Atlantic, ranging from North Carolina to New York.
Its eyes, gill slits, nostrils, and most of its mouth are on the upper part of its body, and its pectoral fins are adept at digging and burying. It can reach lengths of 22 inches (56 cm) and can be found down to a depth of 120 feet (37 m).
5. Faceless fish
The faceless fish is a mystery to researchers.
His presence was registered in 19873 by the crew of theHMS Challenger who found it in the waters of Papua New Guinea:
"This small fish is surprising - explained Tim O'Hara, the researcher at the head of the expedition that recovered the specimen - because the mouth is located on the belly of the animal; therefore, when you look at it from the side you can't see the eyes, you don't see the nose, the gills or the mouth ».
4. Isistius Brasiliensis
His name isIsistius brasiliensisalso called "cookie cutter" shark or cutter shark. At first glance he looks small and harmless but don't be fooled because his jaw is a real guillotine.
This shark does not kill its victims. He just takes a bite off when they pass him by digging a hemispherical sulcus, in short, like taking a bite of a biscuit, hence the name "shark cookie mold".
3. Chlamydoselachus anguineus (Collared shark)
The frilled shark has a large but fragmented distribution in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It lives up to 1300 meters deep and has numerous primitive characters that earned it the name of "living fossil".
Its body, which can reach 2 meters in length and is dark brown in color, resembles that of an eel with its dorsal, pelvic and anal fins set very far back.
Rarely spotted, the frilled shark catches prey by bending its body and lunging forward like a snake. The extremely flexible jaws allow them to swallow large prey, while the rows of small sharp teeth prevent them from escaping.
2. Mitsukurina owstoni (Globin shark)
The Globin shark lives in the ocean abysses, over 200 meters deep, in waters where the sunlight never reaches. It is found all over the world, from Australia, in the Pacific Ocean, to the Gulf of Mexico, in the Ocean Atlantic. Most of the known specimens, however, come from the waters off the coast of Japan, the area where the species was discovered.
The goblin shark feeds on a large variety of organisms that inhabit the depths. Among its known prey are squid, crabs and deep sea fish. Very little is known about its biology and reproductive behavior, as it is a rarely encountered animal. Although it may seem a rare species, it does not appear threatened by any sort of danger and for this reason it is not among the species considered endangered by the IUCN.
1. Idiacanthus atlanticus
The idiacanthus atlanticus it is a species that inhabits only the subtropical temperate waters in the southern hemisphere, probably limited by the subtropical convergence, between 1000 and 2500 meters deep.
Their diet mainly consists of fish. There is a clear sexual dimorphism within this species: the females are black, with well developed canine teeth, a barbel and six-striped pelvic fins. Males, on the other hand, are dark brown in color, have no teeth on the jaw, but only a few teeth on the vomer.
Creatures of the abyss: the 10 most monstrous
In this video you can see the images of creatures of the abyss just described:
Curated by Christel Schachter