Dancing Squat Lobsters of the Deep

From former DSN’s own Peter Etnoyer (posts here) comes a great set of deep-sea GIFS.

Among the many revelations of recent studies of Gulf of Mexico deep-sea coral beds is that squat lobsters appear to be the lazy ninjas of the deep-sea. They sit waiting in coral beds practicing ju-jitsu while hapless squid drift by unawares. The crabs were presumed to be suspension feeders because of their posture on corals, but recent observations indicate they will attack fish and squid, even ROVs.

Squat lobster and deep-sea corals - Imgur

Squat lobster rocks out in a deep-sea coral bed 500 m deep in the Gulf of Mexico at a site called Mississippi Canyon 751 during Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks Expedition.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. 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. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. 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 (http://deepseanews.com/), 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.