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tammy.horton

Deep%20sea%20life%20of%20Tanzania_2016_reduced.pdf?bcsi_scan_2687365ababd2c82=0&bcsi_scan_filename=Deep%20sea%20life%20of%20Tanzania_2016_reduced

- Cnidaria -

Isididae

Cnidaria (Phylum) > Anthozoa (Class)

> Octocorallia (Subclass) > Alcyonacea

(Order) > Isididae (Family)

This bamboo coral resembles the genus Jasonisis

sp., named after the research ROVs

that facilitated its discovery. The common

name, bamboo coral, reflects the growth

pattern of the animal when the internal

structure is examined.

The animal here is making use of rare hard

Bamboo coral with crinoids and brittle stars substratum on the otherwise soft sediment

at Mzia-2. The three dimensional structure

of the coral provides habitat to ophiuroids

(brittle stars) and a comatulid crinoid among other smaller organisms not visible in the

image. A superficially similar coral is shown on p. 47. Despite the resemblance the animal

on p. 47 it is likely a species from the family Primnoidae.

Paragorgia sp.

Cnidaria (Phylum) > Anthozoa (Class) >

Octocorallia (Subclass) > Alcyonacea (Order)

> Paragorgiidae (Family)

Paragorgia coral and “Blobfish” Psychrolutes sp.

The fan shaped corals with thick branches

from the genus Paragorgia are found in

a range of colours including pink, orange

and white. They are known as bubblegum

corals. Their distribution is global and they

are found over a large depth range from

tens of metres depth (e.g. in Norwegian

fjords) to several thousand metres. They

are particularly well known from continental

slopes, canyons and seamounts.

Paragorgia was observed infrequently off Tanzania, this image from Pweza-3 was one of

only two records. It may be more common in areas where there is more available hard

substratum. Like the Jasonisis above, and Paragorgia elsewhere, its three dimensional

structure appears to provide important habitat to other organisms like the ophiuroids

and comatulid crinoids seen here. In this case a “blobfish” (Psychrolutes sp.) appeared to

be using the structure (for further information about blobfish see p. 74).

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