Chapter

The Deep, the Cold, the Dark

Wolf H. Berger

in Ocean

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780520247789
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942547 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247789.003.0011
The Deep, the Cold, the Dark

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This chapter discusses deep-sea life, the largest life habitat on Earth. It focuses on the diversity of organisms living in the mesopelagic and bathypelagic depth zones of the ocean—that is, the twilight zone and the completely dark zones. The chapter examines the role of bioluminescence and other special adaptations that control the behavior of deep-sea animals. It also discusses depth zonation, systematic measurements of light transmission in the sea, and vertical migration. Vertical migration is an integral part of life in the mesopelagic zone—the migrating animals come up to feed and go down to hide. Among the fishes of the twilight zone, the lanternfishes and the hatchet fishes are prominent participants in daily vertical migration.

Keywords: deep-sea life; mesopelagic depth zone; bathypelagic depth zone; twilight zone; bioluminescence; depth zonation; vertical migration; lanternfishes; hatchet fishes

Chapter.  20825 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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