Life at such depths is one of crushing pressures, no light, little food, and freezing temperatures, with animals that call it home evolving unique ways to survive.
As food is scarce, they are usually small and move slowly. Many are jelly-like and spend their lives floating about, while others have ferocious spines and fangs and lie in wait until food comes to them.
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Working in such an environment was challenging, O’Hara admitted, with each fishing expedition taking up to seven hours to deploy and retrieve the equipment and its eight kilometers of cable from the sea floor, given it is so far down.
But the data gathered was helping to improve the understanding of Australia’s deep-sea habitats, their biodiversity, and the ecological processes that sustain them, O’Hara said.
“This will assist in its conservation and management and help to protect it from the impacts of climate change, pollution, and other human activity,” he remarked.
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