Abstract

Deep-sea echinoderms of the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahama Islands, have been studied, using trawled collections made by the University of Miami together with observations from the deep submersible Alvin. Transect runs in the submersible permitted studies of population densities and behaviour of approximately 38 species of larger invertebrates, of which 27 were echinoderms. Several echinoderm species show a patchy distribution pattern which is apparently not related to available food resources. Some species are exclusively herbivores, feeding on fragments of turtle grass, Thalassia testudinata and sargassum weed, Sargassum spp. Feeding habits of some Tongue of the Ocean echinoderms are compared with those of the same species from further north, where supplies of plant material are not nearly so abundant.

 

Trawled collections of echinoderms do not include some of the most common and ecologically important holothurians; conversely, some burrowing species very common in the area were not observed from the Alvin. Further observations were made on swimming behaviour of holothurians. All swimming forms studied apparently derive nourishment from the seafloor. Short tracks on the seafloor indicate that swimming behaviour is a common means of transportation from one area to another. The ophiuroid Bathypectinura heros is capable of active swimming movements. Uniformly conical mounds on the seafloor are often built up around a central core of holothurian faeces.

 

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Pawson, 1982, Aust. Mus. Mem. 16: 129–145
Author
David L. Pawson
Year
1982
Title
Papers from the Echinoderm Conference. 8. Deep-sea echinoderms in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahama Islands: a survey, using the research submersible Alvin
Serial Title
Australian Museum Memoir
Volume
16
Start Page
129
End Page
145
DOI
10.3853/j.0067-1967.16.1982.362
Language
English
Date Published
31 December 1982
Cover Date
31 December 1982
ISBN
ISBN 0-7305-5743-6
ISSN
0067-1967
CODEN
AUNMA5
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
ECHINODERMATA; ECOLOGY
Digitized
04 February 2009
Available Online
04 March 2009
Reference Number
362
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/17592/362.enw
Title Page
/Uploads/Journals/17592/362.pdf
File size: 113kB
Complete Work
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