Australian Museum Journal Papers from the Echinoderm Conference. 8. Deep-sea echinoderms in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahama Islands: a survey, using the research submersible Alvin

Shortform:
Pawson, 1982, Aust. Mus. Mem. 16: 129–145
Author(s):
Pawson, David L.
Year published:
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 package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (113kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (4038kb PDF)

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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