25 November 2011
Seamounts and coral: a conservation diary from the deep
A team of scientists has set out on a six-week mission, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, to explore the Indian Ocean's underwater mountains, or seamounts. The scientists aboard the research vessel, the RRS James Cook, will study life thousands of metres below the surface. In the second of her BBC Nature diary entries, Aurelie Spadone from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, who is part of the team, explains what makes seamount habitats unique.
Extract: Some of the animals that live in these strange habitats live without light and with pressures of up to 50kg per square centimetre on their bodies.The isolation of seamounts also makes them very special. We could compare seamount habitats in the oceans to oases in deserts in terms of relative richness of life there. Life finds a way in improbable places.I think we have a responsibility to protect this improbable life and make sure we don't eradicate it before we have even had the chance to discover it properly.
Read rest an follow diary here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/15872414