Curiouser Podcast: Life Under Constant Pressure

Jai Ranganathan speaks to me about the biodiversity of the deep sea and my paper from last year.

More than 70 percent of the earth is ocean floor, an environment as lethal to human life as outer space. With pressures hundreds of times stronger than on the surface, no sunlight, and near freezing temperatures, it is hard to imagine that anything could survive on the bottom of the ocean.

Dr. Craig McClain, a marine biologist at the National Center for Evolutionary Synthesis, has taken robot submersibles to the ocean floor. He discovered an astonishing number of species thriving on the seafloor: a comparable number of animals to what is found in a tropical rainforest or a coral reef. He discusses what makes it possible for so many species to coexist in such a hostile environment

via Curiouser Podcast: Life Under Constant Pressure | Smart Journalism. Real Solutions. Miller-McCune..

Dr. M (1714 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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