When a catastrophic ice shelf collapse in Antarctica opened up prime seafloor real estate, enterprising creatures called glass sponges showed up with unprecedented speed to stake their claim.
The sea squirts were gone, and all of a sudden the glass sponges had tripled" in number, Richter says.
In this paper, the four species are referred to as basket sponges (Esperiopsis and Mycale), glass sponges
(Rhabdocalyptus), and Geodia.
The disappearing ice had invited newcomers into the area, such as fast-growing, gelatinous sea squirts and slow-growing animals called glass sponges
New species found in the area included fast-growing, gelatinous sea squirts and slow-growing animals called glass sponges
1974) state that glass sponges
provide almost all of the vertical structure on the sea floor in the Ross Sea of Antarctica.
Their mission: to search for open-ocean specimens of reef-building glass sponges
, a Lazarus taxon that had been discovered in protected waters off the coast of Canada in the 1990s.
Nearly 1,000 ft down is the haystack zone, huge limestone blocks standing 150 ft tall and home to unusual animals and delicate corals such as stalked crinoids, porcelain corals, glass sponges
and deep-sea gorgonians.
By shining extremely short pulses of laser light into the transparent, liquid-filled glass sponges
, the researchers generate ultrasonic waves within the material, allowing them to monitor the liquid's behavior.