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Three Odd Deep Sea Creatures

Updated on April 6, 2015

Dumbo Octopus

Characteristics

The Dumbo Octopus or, Grimpoteuthis, is one out of 17 different species of finned-octopus. This octopus is named for its fins that resemble the elephant from the Disney movie Dumbo, which is their only way of movement. In addition to their "ears", some of its other characteristics are unusual from that of a normal octopus. Their arms are webbed and have suckers along the length of each arm. The octopus is short, has a U or V-shaped shell made of cartilage, and there is an absence of ink sacs and anal flaps. Ink sacs are organs that are made up of a sac that stores the ink, a gland that secretes it, and a duct that connects it to the rectum. These creatures grow to about 20 cm in length, have unusually developed eyes, and live at the amazing depth of 3,000- 4,000 meters!


The Way the Dumbo Octopus Moves

Habitat

The Dumbo Octopus is said to have a worldwide distribution. They have been observed off the coast of Oregon, The Philippines, Martha's Vineyard, Azores, New Zealand, Australia, California, Papua, and New Guinea. These Creatures occupy a variety of different depths depending on the climate they are content with (Cold climates according to recorded depths).

Feeding Behavior

Not much is known about The Dumbo Octopus' diet, but it is evident that they eat worms, molluscs, and many crustaceans. Scientists also believe that the octopus may use its cirri (a hair-like object present on its suckers) to create small current to help bring food towards its mouth.

Reproduction

The reproduction system of the Dumbo Octopus is still a mystery to scientists. The male reproductive tract shows a large difference between all octopus species, so there is confusion about identifying different parts.

The reproduction cycle of this species starts out by the male's sperm packets being transferred to the female's mantle cavity. The eggs of this species are large and are laid on the ocean floor under rocks or shells after being covered by a special casting (secreted by the female) that hardens in seawater. After the eggs are hatched, the octopi are to defend for themselves, being that they are quite intelligent.

The Flamingo Tongue Snail

Characteristics

The Flamingo Tongue Snail or, Cyphoma gibbosum, is a fairly common mollusk found at about 274 meters. This snail is recognized due to its smooth, bright orange, black, and white shell pattern. The snail only grows to about 2.5 inches and its pattern never changes; this pattern is on the snails shell all its life! However, the pattern is only visible when the snail is alive.

The Flamingo Tongue Snails.. What Are They Doing?

Fun Fact

It has been observed that when a Flamingo Tongue Snail feels threatened, they retract their membrane to the sides. That is why, in this video, their shells look white.

Habitat

The Flamingo Tongue Snail is normally found on Coral Reefs at about 245 meters deep at a temperature of about 59.44- 81.84°F (15.246 - 27.692°C).

Feeding Behavior

The Flamingo Tongue Snail feeds on gorgonian or, sea-fans, and spends 99% of its time on its host. The snails are mostly active during the day time and feed predominantly. Their mouth is long and narrow with a thick outer lip and no teeth; this helps them chew off the parts of sea-fan branches, leaving only the skeletons. They also are known to eat polyps of the gorgon of the tissue had already been stripped off. The snails will actually take these chemicals from the polyps, store them in their mantle, and use them as chemical defenses during battle.

Reproduction

Reproduction of the Flamingo Tongue Snail occurs between adults when a male crawls up onto the right side of a females shell. The male then extends a white tube under the females shell and begins mating which can last up to four hours. After the mating ritual is complete, the female will proceed to lay her eggs within four days. She lays them onto the areas of the gorgonians that are exposed from the feedings, because there are no toxic gases left over. Each egg contains up to 300 embryos, and hatch after ten days. The newborn larvae swim freely and feed on plankton until they metamorphose into adults.

The Comb Jellyfish

Characteristics

The Comb Jellyfish, My favorite of them all!

The Comb Jellyfish or, Ctenophora, is a jelly-like transparent invertebrate with bright, beautiful, iridescent color bands. The color bands on this creature divide it into eight symmetrical parts and are made up of tiny hairs called combs. They grow from 1 mm to 1.5 meters (4 feet and 11 inches) long and can live up to 3000 meters deep.. that's 9,842.52 feet deep!

These creatures though, are quite different from regular jellyfish. The Comb Jellyfish is named for its tiny hairs, which run in eight rows up and down its body. They are like tiny oars that help them move throughout the water, and the comb jelly is the largest organism know to move by cilia. Oddly enough, these eight different rows produce a rainbow effect, which some people think is bioluminescence. This, however, is nothing of the sort. This is actually the scattering of light in different directions throughout the moving cilia. The Comb Jellyfish also, unlike normal "Jellies", have a single pair of tentacles that they use to catch prey. The tentacles are lined with sticky cells and they don't sting.

The Comb Jellyfish

Habitat

The Comb Jellyfish choose where the stay pertaining to salinity (2 to 38 psu), oxygen levels, temperature of the water (36 to 90 degrees F), and the overall water quality. Though they usually prefer estuaries and bays, they live in many different places, even polluted waters. The only time they are found in deep, deep waters is when there is rough weather above; they would rather not encounter rough waters.

Feeding Behavior

The Comb Jellyfish is carnivorous and heterotrophic. They eat animal plankton, some eat other comb jellies, crustaceans, molluscs, and fish larvae. They can eat up to ten times their weight in a single day and if food is scarce, the comb jelly will stop producing gametes and decrease its overall body size! The way the comb jelly captures their food is by ambushing their prey and trapping the prey in their tentacles, using them as webs. They then, liquify the prey by using enzymes, passed through the canal system, and digested by nutritive cells.

Reproduction

Reproduction for the comb jelly is especially odd. They don't have defined sexes, they produce both sperm and eggs, which means they can fertilize themselves. The comb jelly can release 8,000 eggs per spawn and the young can reproduce after 13 days. They will release the eggs into the water and leave them there; no care is given to the eggs. They like to reproduce mostly at night, when to water temperature is about 66-73 degrees F. The life of the Jelly is only four to 6 months long.

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