Deep Sea Guide
Thirty five kilometers off the Big Sur coast and 800 meters below the sea surface lies an underwater mountain range called Sur Ridge that is home to an amazing array of deep-sea animals. Staff from MBARI and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary recently worked together to create an illustrated, on-line field guide to Sur Ridge.
The Sur Ridge Field Guide includes more than 260 different species of animals, many of them beautiful and strange. On some slopes of Sur Ridge, fluorescent yellow Picasso sponges cling to the rocky seafloor, growing to half a meter tall. Elsewhere the tree-like branches of bright-pink bubblegum corals extend more than two meters above the ocean bottom.
As with all MBARI ROV dives, high-definition video was recorded at this site. After the dives, this video was painstakingly analyzed by Linda Kuhnz, a marine biologist in MBARI’s video lab. She identified every animal visible in the footage and entered this information into MBARI’s vast Video Annotation Reference System (VARS) database.
Researchers created the Sur Ridge Field Guide by “mining” the VARS database. The result is a comprehensive list of the animals seen during these dives. The field guide also includes photographs of most of these animals. [Mbari]
Check out the GUIDE HERE