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Hidden Depths: Antarctic krill startle deep-ocean scientists

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1:28pm, February 27, 2008

Biologists looked into the abyss and the abyss looked back, with lots of little compound krill eyes.

The shrimplike Antarctic krill, a major player in polar ecosystems, is supposedly a creature of the upper ocean. Yet the first science cruise to lower a camera to the abyssal seabed of the Southern Ocean off Antarctica found what looked like krill 3,000 meters down, says Andrew Clarke of the British Antarctic Survey based in Cambridge, England.

The cruise, during the South Pole summer of 2006-2007, inaugurated the United Kingdom's remotely operated, camera-carrying Isis vehicle. Clarke says that he and several other biologists were just piggybacking on a mission primarily designed

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