27. July, 2014
Today, the marine biologists – better known to the rest of the science crew as the ‘guys that sample the stinky animals’ – report on their sampling nights and intriguing finds from the Kolbeinsey and Jan Mayen ridges.
While much of the daytime has been used for AUV mapping and ROV dives, the nights have been the busiest for the biologists. So far we have had two dedicated bio-nights, where we used our trawl and sled to get samples of the animals living on the seafloor. In addition the geologists have been dredging for rocks for two nights, and then we have been ready on deck to get the biological by-catch.
Sorting out the by-catch from the rock-dredge.
Sieving samples on deck.
In the sled samples we got a lot of mud that needed to be washed and sieved to find the animals within, but it was worth the effort! Especially the second bio-night, when we got many individuals of a small calcareous sponge that we were hoping to find. The sledge samples also contained a wide variety of bristle worms, crustaceans and other small animals. The trawl samples usually bring up larger animals, and in the picture below you can see the cocktail of shrimps, brittle stars, fish and various other deep-sea creatures that we got from the trawl at almost 2000 m depth close to Jan Mayen.
Sorting the sieved samples in the lab. Almost like a treasure hunt!
Megafauna-cocktail from 2000 m deep.
Baby octopus looking out from his egg.
Although the first whole night of work was hard because we had been up since breakfast, we have gotten into the rhythm of sleeping during the day, and working during the night. The midnight sun makes the arctic nights just as bright as the days, which makes is so much easier to stay awake.
Sunshine at 3 AM.