Blog: Long Ridge seamount communities - 7, 8 March
8 March 2018
The Benthic team have been busy the past few days observing the seafloor video captured by the Deep Towed Imaging System (DTIS) camera in real time to make observations on the seafloor substrate type and to identify any animals living on the seabed at Long Ridge.
Long Ridge is a series of long ridge-like seamounts north of the Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean. The team led by Malcolm Clark, NIWA, are comparing seabed areas inside and outside the new Ross Sea Marine Protected Area to improve knowledge of the composition and structure of seabed communities. On the Iselin Bank in the Ross Sea, highlights seen included a dumbo octopus, boulders covered in snake stars, large patches of seabed covered with rosselid glass sponges and demosponges, and some stylasterid hydrocoral banks.
Transects on Scott C seamount in the Scott Island complex revealed purple anemones, black corals, king crabs and abundant small white bamboo corals. Finally, on Long Ridge in the last two days we have seen numerous bright yellow stalked crinoids, Ptilocrinus amezianeae Eléaume, Hemery, Bowden & Roux, 2011 only recently described from Admiralty seamount, boulders crowded with bright red soft corals, Anthomastus sp., rock pens, and black corals.
At the summit of a small hill feature on SE Iselin Bank (722m) large boulders covered in soft coral (Alcyoniidae), the snake star Astrotoma agassizii, Ophiacantha pentactis brittle stars, orange zoanthids, barnacles Bathylasma corolliforme and numerous dead barnacle plates forming the substrate.