Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

A large orange deep-water Arctic colonial jellyfish
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Red/orange with different hues on different parts of the body; Physonect (gas float) yellow-orange; Nectophores (swimming units) translucent with bright red canals.
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Ecology

Habitat

epi-bathypelagic
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Depth range based on 23 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 21 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 455 - 1375
  Temperature range (°C): 3.943 - 10.760
  Nitrate (umol/L): 13.918 - 36.684
  Salinity (PPS): 34.870 - 35.590
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.535 - 6.167
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.897 - 2.372
  Silicate (umol/l): 6.530 - 21.711

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 455 - 1375

Temperature range (°C): 3.943 - 10.760

Nitrate (umol/L): 13.918 - 36.684

Salinity (PPS): 34.870 - 35.590

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.535 - 6.167

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.897 - 2.372

Silicate (umol/l): 6.530 - 21.711
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Primarily Arctic, with records in the subarctic Atlantic; Mostly mesopelagic concentrated between 200 and 800 m; Bathypelagic records to ~2000 m
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Trophic Strategy

Animals swim, then pause and deploy tentacles creating a fishing curtain 30-50 cm from the body stem; The diet is unstudied, but likely larger crustaceans such as decapods, krill and mysids, as well as copepods
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Holoplanktonic,; Details, including generation time and life-expectancy unknown
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Wikipedia

Marrus orthocanna

Marrus orthocanna is a species of pelagic siphonophore,[2][3] a colonial animal composed of a complex arrangement of zooids, some of which are polyps and some medusae. It lives in the Arctic and other cold, deep waters, swimming independently in mid-ocean.[4]

Description[edit]

Like other siphonophores, Marrus orthocanna is a colony composed of a number of specialised zooids linked together by a long stem.[4][5] At the front is the pneumatophore, an orange-coloured, gas-filled float. Behind this is the nectosome, a region where there are a number of translucent nectophores with red, unlooped radial canals. These are bell-shaped medusae specialised for locomotion. When they contract, water is expelled which causes the colony to move. Their contractions are coordinated which enables the animal to swim forwards, sidewards or backwards. The remaining region is the siphosome. Most of the zooids here are polyps, specialised for collecting food. They do this for the whole colony, spreading their single long tentacles in the water to snare prey. Other zooids in this region undertake digestion and assimilation of food items. Reproductive medusae are found among the polyps in the siphosome and also various other specialised zooids. The various forms are all arranged in a repeating pattern.[4][5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Marrus orthocanna occurs pelagically in the mesopelagic zone of the Arctic Ocean, the north west Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, the north Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.[6] It is found at depths ranging between 200 and 800 m (660 and 2,620 ft). The greatest depth at which it has been observed is about 2,000 m (6,600 ft).[5] At these depths the temperature is about 4 °C (39 °F), hardly any light penetrates from the surface and human observation is limited to what can be seen from submersible craft.[7]

Biology[edit]

Marrus orthocanna can be several metres long and the tentacles can extend fifty centimetres on either side. It moves forward intermittently before pausing to put out its "fishing lines", ready to ensnare passing creatures. It is a carnivore whose diet is thought to consist mainly of small crustaceans such as decapods, krill, copepods and mysids.[5]

This colonial animal arises from a single fertilised egg. The protozooid that develops from this subsequently buds to form the other members of the colony which are thus genetically identical. The protozooid first thins and elongates, the middle section becoming the stem of the colony. The pneumatophore forms at the opposite end to the mouth. Next a growth zone on the thin stem forms and budding occurs with the formation of the nectophores. As the stem continues lengthening, further zooids develop above these. Another growth zone sees the development of the siphosome and the continuing elongation of the stem carries these zooids down with it.[4] The division of labour between the zooids is an evolutionary advance in the constant struggle for existence in the deep sea. Such organisms as Marrus orthocanna blur the boundaries between the individual polyp and the whole colonial organism; each cannot exist without the other.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kramp P. L. (1942). "Siphonophora. The Godthaab Expedition 1928". Medd. Grønl. 80(8): 3-24.
  2. ^ "Marrus orthocanna (Kramp, 1942)". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ G. Mapstone (2010). "Marrus orthocanna (Kramp, 1942)". In P. Schuchert. World Hydrozoa database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d Siphonophores Retrieved 2011-10-01.
  5. ^ a b c d Marrus orthocanna - Kramp, 1942 Arctic Ocean Diversity. Retrieved 2011-10-01.
  6. ^ Mapstone, Gillian M.; Mary N. Arai. Siphonophora (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa) of Canadian Pacific waters. Google Books. pp. 117–21. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  7. ^ Bathyal zone Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
  8. ^ Wilson, David Sloan and Edward O. Wilson (2008). "Evolution "for the Good of the Group"". American Scientist (74). Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
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