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Of course I've got a special interest in the snails that inhabit the whale fall during it's 3rd stage, though.

They eat bone.

Rubyspira osteovora and Rubyspira goffrediae are snails that have spiky radula (what you could call the snail's teeth, pictured in the SEM image below) that are able to break apart intact pieces of bone.

snailix boosted

Did you know that there are snails that eat the bone of dead whales? πŸŒπŸ‹

snailix boosted

cup coral
cup coral
cup coral
what a cute name

pictured: a cluster of orange Tubastaea coccinea

throwback to when i saw the grand canyon for the first and only time. i will make it there on foot one day, LOOK AT THE STRATIGRAPHY

cup coral
cup coral
cup coral
what a cute name

pictured: a cluster of orange Tubastaea coccinea

Tretopluera sp (stalked sea sponge) covered in bright yellow crinoids at about 2000 meters depth

photo via OET/Nautilus Live

please direct me to the squishiest and slimiest among us

Also: Bacterial mats are really cool. Here is a bacterial mat on a whale fall.
picture also featuring: squat lobsters, anemones, shrimps, and more

Of course I've got a special interest in the snails that inhabit the whale fall during it's 3rd stage, though.

They eat bone.

Rubyspira osteovora and Rubyspira goffrediae are snails that have spiky radula (what you could call the snail's teeth, pictured in the SEM image below) that are able to break apart intact pieces of bone.

Stage 3

At this point, only the whale's bones are left on the seafloor. Bacteria begin to breakdown the fats and within the bones thus generating sulfur & attracting more bacteria & other creatures including snails, mussels & worms, to the area. This is what is called the sulphophilic phase. This phase is thought to last decades.

Stage 2

Worms, crustaceans, & mollusks feed on the whale & burrow into the nutrient rich sediment below. This phase has been found to typically last 2 years.

There are three identified stages of a whale fall

Stage 1

mobile scavengers (like sharks and hagfish) can smell the whale once it dies and the body falls to the ocean floor. These scavengers will feed for up to two years on the soft flesh of the whale, which decomposes much slower than it would otherwise because the water is so cold.

I think about this all the time. Whales are seriously soooooo huge. The biomass can support a ridiculous number of smaller organisms.

Whale carcasses, also referred to as whale fall, can actually support entire deep sea communities for 20+ years. Especially if it ends up somewhere realllly deep and cold...

Did you know that there are snails that eat the bone of dead whales? πŸŒπŸ‹

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