70% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans, and certainly not surprising if there are still many sea creatures that we have not identified. Sea creatures, especially those that live on the seabed, are indeed super tricky for us to see them directly because of being ‘out of reach’ of vision.
They also do not show themselves to the surface. The term creature on the seabed itself refers to organisms whose life is indeed under the sea photic zone.
Creatures that live deep in the ocean floor must survive very harsh conditions, ranging from 20 to 1,000 bar pressure, minimal oxygen, very little food, the absence of sunlight, to frigid temperatures. Most of these creatures dependent on leftovers that sink from the surface.
The sea depth zone is divided into five layers. There are the sunlight zone, the twilight zone, the midnight zone, the abyss, and the trenches. The striking difference between the five layers is a matter of depth.
Each zone is inhabited by different, unique, and specific marine animals. Besides, the deeper the zone, the less sunlight can reach it. Let’s see the 5 layers of ocean zone and animals live in each layer!
1. Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are underwater ecosystems consisting of a group of coral animals that are symbiotic with Zooxanthellae, plant-like organisms, forming calcium carbonate structures that are like limestone. Coral reefs live in the sunlight zone, where this zone starts at sea level up to 700 feet (213 meters) and is still illuminated by sunlight.
In the sea, coral reefs become habitats or dwellings for marine plant species, marine animals, and other marine microorganisms. It is because coral reefs have a relationship–a relationship between nature and animal.
Typically, coral reefs live on the coast or areas that are still exposed to sunlight, precisely more than 50 meters below sea level. However, there are also types of coral reefs that can live deep in the sea and do not need light. However, those coral reefs are not symbiotic with Zooxanhellae and do not form corals.
Unfortunately, now many coral reefs have been damaged by irresponsible people. This is a serious problem in this era of global warming because many marine animals will lose their homes. We should not damage it. We should have more hear what animals need in this global warming era.
Lantern fish are small mesopelagic fish from the family Myctophidae. Lantern fish usually have a slender, flat body covered with small silvery round scales, large rounded and blunt heads, large elliptical to lateral eyes, and large terminal mouths with tight jaws and small teeth. For food, lanternfish eat pieces of plastic debris that accumulates in the ocean.
This fish lives in the twilight zone, where this zone starts from 700 feet (213 meters) to 3,280 feet (1 km). As the primary food source for many marine animals, lantern fish are essential links in the food chain of the local ecosystem.
This fish is most often eaten by whales, dolphins, salmon, tuna, and sharks. The predators need them because they need to prepare, especially in winter. You can check out how animals prepare and survive winter coldness.
Anglerfish are carnivorous fish with large mouths and teeth. This fish lives in the midnight zone, where this zone has a depth of 3,280 feet (1 km) to 13,125 feet (4 km).
This fish dives to the bottom of the sea in order to attack other fish. At the top of the mouth, there is a glowing antenna that can be moved around as bait to attract prey. The light comes from luminous bacteria that have a symbiotic relationship between anglerfish.
These bacteria live by sucking the blood of anglerfish. The bacteria will emit light that can attract small animals that are food for anglerfish. Once the small animal is approaching, the anglerfish will immediately open its mouth wide and eat the small animal.
4. Vampire Squid
Vampire squid lives deep in the ocean floor. It can be found at depths of 600 to 1000 m. Because where it lives is dark, and there is no sunlight, the eyes of vampire squid are useless. To detect the environment, this animal has a pair of yellow threads on its side.
Its function is as a sensor against enemies and prey around it. Even though it is called a vampire squid, it does not suck blood. The main food is small animals in the deep sea.
The vampire squid has a round body shape, whereas usually, squid is slim like torpedoes. The color is bright red and measuring 30 cm. For squid, this size is large. This animal also has a membrane that resembles a robe on its tentacles.
Luckily, it has a large size and lives in the deep sea. If it doesn’t, it will be eaten by species penguin in Antarctica.
5. Basket Star
Basket star is a sea animal that has long, thin, and flexible arms that lives in the abyssal zone, where this zone has a depth of 13,125 feet (4 km) to 19,690 feet (6 km). The bottom of the arms is covered with sucking tube feet.
This extraordinary invertebrate has a mass of twisting and turning arms that can measure a meter long. Each branch has tiny sharp hooks, allowing the creature to capture prey. Basket star can grow their limbs back if they are broken or chopped off by predators – an ability as freakish as it is incredible. It feasts mainly on zooplankton.
Apparently, basket star is not the only animal who eats zooplankton. So many animals are eating the zooplankton. One of them is basking sharks, one of the scary-looking harmless animals in the world.
6. Giant Tube Worm
Giant tube worm is the name of a type of sea worm that has an unusual body shape. This worm has a transparent body color, but the front body has a red color and conical shape. The red color is hemoglobin, which is a red blood cell that functions to bind oxygen. That part of the body is used by giant tube worms to breathe by absorbing oxygen in the sea.
Giant tube worm lives in the trenches zone, where this zone has a depth of 19,690 feet (6 km) to 35,797 feet (11 km).
This worm has no mouth, eyes, and abdominal cavity. The way for these worms to get food is by symbiosis with the bacteria in their bodies. First, this worm will absorb chemicals in the sea. Then, the bacteria will remodel the chemical. Bacteria only consume a small portion of organic material, while giant tube worms will absorb the rest.