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Ophiosparte gigas Koehler, 1922 (Ophiuridae; Ophiurinae)
This very large species of brittle star, with a disk that can reach up to 3 inches in diameter, is one of the top predators of the seafloor ecosystem around Antarctica. This species can behave as either a scavenger of decaying corpses or an active hunter that takes down crustaceans, polychaetes, and even other ophiuroids. (Photo copyright PJ López-González)
#animals #invertebrate #echinoderm #brittlestar #ophiuroidea #antarctica #sea #ocean #sealife #marinelife #marineinverts #nature #wildlife #planetearth #biodiversity #naturalhistory #education #marinebiology #zoology #biology #ecology #animalphotography #naturephotography
Found this little guy under one of my chalice coral! ⭐️ Poor guy lost an arm while moving the coral. #reeftank #nanotank #nanoreef #brittlestar #starfish #seastar #creepycrawly #reef #saltwatertank
We are back underwater with @manuela.kirschner and visit our third ship wreck of the day –
the Giannis D, one of four wrecks at Abu Nuhas (Egypt). I already told you today, that wrecks offer a very good habitat for benthic organisms by providing substrate to settle on as well as an elevated location.
OceanFact: But besides that, the corroding material itself can establish a good environment for calcifying organisms, such as corals to grow! Some studies of tropical corals have shown higher growth rates in the presence of an electrical field due to the increased abundance of dissolved mineral ions (such as calcium) for calcification. Since the metal components of shipwrecks often produce electric currents, these wrecks might create conditions favorable to higher-than-normal growth rates. This could be an explanation why, especially burned-out shipwrecks which are lacking the protective layer of coating (and therefore corrode more easily) are often especially fast overgrown by corals and other incrusting and calcifying organisms.
I hope you liked todays’ trip to the wrecks. Do have more facts about this topic? And/or nice underwater pictures you want to share with us? Tag them with #OFactUnity and get the chance to be featured!
Thanks again to @manuela.kirschner, who shared her beautiful underwater photos with us today!

#oceanlife #Brittlestar #OceanFactOfficial #OceanFact #Shipwreck #Wreck #sea #marinelife #marinelife #marineanimals #scuba #marinebiology #underwaterphotography #biology #photooftheday #nature #instagood #ilovediving #scubadiving #marinebiologist
Good afternoon, fellow Ocean lovers. We will continue with another wreck photo by @manuela.kirschner.

Today we are talking about the special and artificial habitat that shipwrecks provide for many benthic (both, sessile and mobile) organisms.

OceanFact: In addition to the substrate they provide, the wreck is also an elevation above the seafloor and into the current! Mostly sessile organisms that are looking for food are more likely to survive if they can obtain a meal while spending as little energy as is possible. If they can therefore find a spot where they can easily pick up the past-drifting food, it is perfect for them. For that reason, wrecks located in regions with high water currents are often especially beautifully overgrown.

This is nicely shown in this photo taken at the wreck Lemko at the island of Fehmarn in Germany. Plumose anemones (Metridium dianthus) are taking here advantage of being exposed to the water current.

Have you ever been diving at a shipwreck? If yes, where and which one? We are curios! Tell us in the comments!

#Oceanlife #Brittlestar #OceanFactOfficial #OceanFact #Shipwreck #Wreck #sea #marinelife #marinelife #marineanimals #scuba #marinebiology #underwaterphotography #biology #photooftheday #nature #instagood #ilovediving #scubadiving #marinebiologist
We will start this OceanFact day with this wonderful underwater photo by @manuela.kirschner
‘Life finds a way’
For me (Susann, @scientificdiver ) diving at a shipwreck is always something very special. Not only because the scenery is – most of the time – pretty awesome. Also, because shipwrecks often offer a great variety of organisms – as you can also see in the photo. But why is it like that?

OceanFact: First, wrecks provides what sessile sea creatures crave most in a habitat: a hard substrate on which to live! While wooden wrecks will typically disintegrate after some time, the more modern metal wrecks have proven to be a perfect resting spot for many stationary ocean dwellers. As many of the large (sessile) organism begin their life as tiny, planktonic drifters, floating through the oceans currents – if the first thing they come across is a shipwreck, they’ll treat it much like they would a rocky outcrop.

We will visit some more wrecks during todays’ journey, so stay tuned for more facts about these special habitats!

#Oceanlife #Brittlestar #OceanFactOfficial #OceanFact #Shipwreck #Wreck #sea #marinelife #marinelife #marineanimals #scuba #marinebiology #underwaterphotography #biology #photooftheday #nature #instagood #ilovediving #scubadiving #marinebiologist
Sorting microscopic marine species on the side. In this sample I spy at least five annelids, a brittle star, a brittle starless arm, a tiny clam, and a sea cucumber. What do you see? .
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#microscope #marinesample #upclose #zoomedin #annelids #echinoderms #brittlestar #seacucumber #clam #mollusk #thebivalveeventoftheseason
Brittlestar Baby no 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ — if you know what to look for...you’ll see his little arm 🤗 #itsthelittlethings #starfish #brittlestar #star #baby #youcantseeme #saltwatertank #liverock #hitchhiker

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