OCT 20, 2019 8:04 AM PDT

Deep-Sea Critters Opportunistically Munch on a Sunken Whale Carcass

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The ocean floor can be a lifeless and desolate place to be; so much so that marine animals have taken notice. It’s not often that you’ll find fish or other critters lurking in these regions, but smaller organisms will sometimes munch on the marine snow, which is basically organic matter that rains down from the ocean’s surface.

Occasionally, however, things take a turn for the better and these deep-sea organisms will find a particularly tasty meal. In this case, a sunken baleen whale carcass has made it to the bottom of the ocean. A wide variety of organisms, including fish, octopi, and worms, are taking full advantage of the smorgasbord that this carcass brings to the table.

Small worms are eating away at the deceased whale’s bones, and larger organisms, including fish and octopi, are actively munching away at what’s left of the whale and any opportunistic little critters that are already feasting on the whale itself.

According to the researchers who discovered the whale carcass, it hosts enough nutrition to support an entire underwater ecosystem for years. With that in mind, the critters we see here will likely be hanging out for quite some time, and we’d come to expect that passerby critters will likely stop in to say ‘hi’ as well.

This footage is particularly interesting because it shows what happens to deceased animals as they fall to the bottom of the ocean. It’s a beautiful representation of the circle of life, in which perished animals serve as food and nutrition for the ongoing life cycles.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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