The Deepest Crinoids


Japanese researchers recently set a record with the deepest in-situ observation of a criniod. In the words of the authors,

Previous records of stalked crinoids from hadal depths (exceeding 6000 m) are extremely rare, and no in-situ information has been available. We show here that stalked crinoids live densely on rocky substrates at depths over 9000 m in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench off the eastern coast of Japan, evidenced by underwater photos and videos taken by a remotely operated vehicle.

Oji, T., Ogawa, Y., Hunter, A., & Kitazawa, K. (2009). Discovery of Dense Aggregations of Stalked Crinoids in Izu-Ogasawara Trench, Japan Zoological Science, 26 (6), 406-408 DOI: 10.2108/zsj.26.406

[googlemap lat=”34.27083595165″ lng=”141.85546875″ width=”500px” height=”500px” zoom=”4″ type=”G_SATELLITE_MAP”]Izu-Ogasawara Trench[/googlemap]

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

3 comments on “The Deepest Crinoids
  1. Rats! The Crinoidea beat the depth record for black corals (8600m, Bathypathes patula). I am incensed! Tell me, who was clipped from the picture? Rocky substrates at 9000m? Boulders? What’s going on here?

  2. The deepest trawled crinoids were by the R/V: Vityaz in the same trench at 9700 meters. They are classified as a Bathycrinus sp. All the hadal crinoids I know of have been placed in the genus Bathycrinus and some believe they are in a Bathycrinus australis species complex.

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