Antarctic creatures found on Niwa trip


The amphipods were some of the weirder-looking creatures caught in the ship’s nets. One of the most interesting-looking “ooglies” was a giant amphipod, invertebrates scientist Owen Anderson said. “Giantism is a bit of a theme in the deep sea in Antarctic waters … They’re scavengers, so if something dies, these things come around in vast numbers.” Along with giant jellyfish, “dumbo” octopus, and sea spiders, a very rare baby colossal squid was also picked up in the nets. The 10 centimetre-long animal was capable of growing up to 14 metres long in a few years, scientists believe. The specimens were collected in mid- and deep-sea trawls on NIWA’s six-week voyage to Antarctica aboard the ship Tangaroa, which launched for this study trip in February.

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