Surviving Deep Waters

 How can marine animals can survive in deep waters?  Some animals can live over 6000 meters below the surface, but how?

This Incredible Animation Shows How Deep The Ocean Really Is <>


  • also known by the scientific name Grimpoteuthis
  • main mode of movement appears to be flapping those big ear-like fins
  • 20 species of dumbos have been identified
  • quite small only about 8 to 12 inches long 
  • shaped like a bell
  • arms are webbed 
  • they make the creature look a bit like umbrella
  • main predators are diving fishes and marine mammals, including tunas, sharks, and dolphins
  • often hover just above the seafloor looking for snails, worms, and other food.
  • deepest-living of all known octopuses (live down to depths of at least 4000 m)


  • dumbo female octopus has trouble finding a mate.
  • females have adapted so they always carry eggs in different stages of development
  • they are able to store sperm for long periods of time after mating with a male.
  • female dumbo octopuses can transfer sperm to their most developed eggs any time the environmental conditions are right for reproducing
  • uses its ear-like fins to propel through the water and steers using its webbed arms.
  • has the ability to live in very cold water and in the complete absence of sunlight
Dumbo OctopusAdaptatatons
• ability to live in very cold water and in the complete absence of sunlight
• doesn’t have an ink sac because it rarely encounters predators in the deep sea
• requires immense amounts of pressure to survive
Animal Facts and Adaptations
Sea Pig

• live in the deepest part of the ocean, the Abyss.
• eat dead debris like whale carcasses
• they travel in herds search for scum
• skin is poisonous...other animals can't eat them
• actually a kind of a kind of sea cucumber
• have five to seven pairs of enlarged tube feet
• the "walking legs" are hydraulically operated appendages
• can be inflated and deflated to move around
• the front appendages that look like antennae, are actually feet
• may have a sensory function, helping it detect the chemical trail of a tasty meal
• their mouths are surrounded by a ring of feeding tentacles that they use to sift through the mud and grab onto food

The Basket Star

by Nick Hobgob
Black Swallow Fish

*small, average 10cm. in length
*found in the deep ocean (depths greater than 3000m)
*has a huge appetite
*can eat prey that is over two times the black swallowers length and ten times its mass.
*has a big jaw and a stomach that expands to match its large meal.
The Hag Fish
Mark Conlin - Alamy
The Snail Fish

Sky News
*a "jelly-like" fish that lives one of the deepest places on earth, almost 8,000m
*soft skeleton and partially open skull to survive intense crushing pressure
*presence of certain fatty acids helps cell membranes to stay flexible at great depths
Deep Sea Angler
Giant Antarctic Spider


  • Able to eat very little food, constant state of semi hibernation
  • All animal cells are surrounded by fatty membranes, which must stay liquid to transmit nerve signals and let materials in and out of cells
  • Scientists have found out what keeps the fatty membranes becoming hard or solid like butter
  • Deep-sea animals must adapt their membranes to keep them liquid 
  • They do this by having lots of unsaturated fats – the group of chemicals that includes vegetable oil in their membranes
  • These remain liquid at low temperatures and keep the membranes loose
  • It’s not just cell membranes


Deep Water Survival Techniques

  • Under pressure makes it hard for proteins to do their job
  • For example, it’s easy for us to blow up a balloon on land but if we were underwater it would not be so easy because of the pressure is higher at the bottom of the pool
  • Huge protein molecules do most of the work in our cells, such as breaking down food for energy.  
  • To do their job, proteins must be free to change their size and shape, for instance becoming larger.

Fishy chemicals

  • To keep their proteins from conking out, deep-sea animals collect small organic molecules called piezolytes in their cells. 
  • These piezolytes bind tightly to water molecules, which gives the proteins more space and stops water being forced into the proteins’ interiors and distorting them.
  •  The deeper an animal lives, the more piezolytes they tend to have in their cells. 
  • One piezolyte, TMAO, gives fish their “fishy” smell. 
  • TMAO


  • Some deep-sea fishes, like the stout blacksmelt, have giant eyes to capture the faintest glimmers. 
  • Some deep-sea fishes, have abandoned vision. 
  • the tripodfish, named for its elongated fins that allow it to perch on the sea floor, relies on touch and vibrations to sense its prey. 
  • some emit their own light by a process known as bioluminescence. 
  • These lights can be used as headlights, as in lanternfish, 
  • Also used to attract mates or prey.



Creatures of the Deep: Basket Star

Scientists discover three new species of snailfish in ocean’s deepest depths  by Thomas Moore <>

Snailfish is first animal from extreme ocean depths to get genome sequenced by Erin I. Garcia de Jesus

14 Fun Facts About Hagfish

Everything You Need to Know About the Dumbo Octopus <>

Dumbo Octopus by Oceania

The Dumbo Octopus: An Underwater Dance

The Dumbo ? Octupus (VIDEO)
Video by Hayden Hoyl


Why Do Deep Sea Fishes Not Get Crushed By Pressure on the Seafloor?

How do deep-diving sea creatures withstand huge pressure changes? August 21, 2006

Tiny Deep-Sea Creatures Are Building Their Own Armour to Survive The Crushing Depths

What does it take to live at the bottom of the Ocean. By Jasmin Fox-Skelly 29 January 2015