An Empire Lacking Food

Let me reintroduce you to planet Earth. Nearly 64 percent of its surface, close to 208,640,000 square kilometers, sits below 200 meters of water. The lack of light at those depths prohibits photosynthesis, the biological energy conversion system that is the foundation of most food webs. Thus our world, with its abundant deep oceans, is dominated by food-poor habitats. The consequences of this reverberate throughout the deep sea–but not in the ways long assumed.

My posting frequency at DSN was low over the last few months.  Why?  I was pouring myself into writing a feature article for the November/December issue of American Scientist.  You can read it free online now if you cannot wait.  Of course, I would prefer you to support this wonderful publication and buy it when it hits the stands.  As an extra bonus, the cover features a great photograph of denizens of the deep worthy of embellishing your coffee table.  Be one of the next 5 donors to the Donor’s Choose campaign and I will send a signed copy along to you!

via An Empire Lacking Food » American Scientist.

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 (, 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.

6 Replies to “An Empire Lacking Food”

  1. The dead-tree version arrived in my box yesterday, and your story is indeed gorgeous. I was flipping through backwards and began to see pictures of bitty creatures, a gnarly isopod and marine snow, and I said “hey, this looks like Dr. M!” Congrats.

  2. Does it matter to which Donors Choose it is? I really have a hard time deciding, and I really want an autographed copy of the magazine.

  3. The project doesn’t matter, but please make sure you follow the link to donate via our Ocean Bloggers United for Education initiative! Thanks so much!

  4. I made a donation, but in the contact, it keeps coming up illegal POST. What is that?

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