Thursday 23 February 2012

'Abyss Box' to keep deep animals (via Max Blake)

The public are going to get the chance to see live creatures pulled up from the deep ocean in a permanent display.
Normally when organisms are raised from kilometres below the sea surface, they quickly die because of the huge change in pressure.
But scientists have now developed the Abyss Box, which can maintain animals in the extreme environment they need.
The vessel, containing deep-sea crab and shrimp, will go on show at the Oceanopolis aquarium in Brest, France.
The volume of the box is quite small (16 litres) but researchers believe the technology could eventually be scaled up to house larger animals, such as fish.
It is hoped such vessels will enable scientists to study bottom-dwelling creatures over long periods of time - something that is just not possible at the moment.
"We want such basic information as the length of life of a deep-sea animal," explained Dr Bruce Shillito, a marine biologist at the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris.

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