Weird Creatures From the Deep
A massive census of the oceans has turned up a trove of strange marine wildlife, from jellyfish to octopuses to anemones
- By Jess Righthand
- Smithsonian.com, August 06, 2010
((photograph by I. MacDonald), Felder, D.L and Camp, D.K. (eds.) 2009. Gulf of Mexico - Origins, Waters, and Biota. Vol. 1. Biodiversity. Texas A&M Press, College Station, Texas.)
One of 25 species in the deep-water genus Benthoctopus, this cephalopod lives in Gulf of Mexico waters as deep as 13,000 feet. Mollusks—a group that includes squid, octopuses, clams, snails and slugs—are one of 12 different phyla or sub-phyla documented by the Census of Marine Life. The group accounts for 17 percent of all marine species, according to the Census, making mollusks the second most diverse group, after crustaceans.