“The ocean floor is like a rainforest where feces and dead animals rain from the sky” – Dr. Craig McLean
When many people hear the word “biodiversity,” they immediately think of tropical rainforests, or coral reefs; but as this picture demonstrates, biodiversity is a concept that ought to be more closely associated with the ocean floor, as well.
Incredibly, the species you see gathered in the image up top were were collected in a single, handful-sized scoop of seafloor mud. But here’s what’s really mind blowing: move a few feet in any direction from the site these organisms were collected, and the mud sample you gather is liable to turn up a very different set of creatures.
According to Craig McClain — Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and chief editor for Deep Sea News — up until the 1960s, the ocean floor was widely regarded as something of a uniform “wasteland” when it came to organismal diversity. Over the last few decades, however, scientists have come to realize that this assumption could not be further from the truth.
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