An unexpected, thriving ecosystem

By Sid Perkins, 15:56 PM April 15, 2008

A diverse group of creatures beneath an Antarctic ice shelf could give pause to researchers who infer past ecological conditions from fossils found in such sediments.

In December 2003, researchers drilled a hole through the 480-meter-thick Amery ice shelf in Antarctica to get a look at the ocean bottom. At the drill site, 100 kilometers from open ocean, they expected to see a barren seafloor. How wrong they were.

Video of the ocean bottom at a depth of about 775 m revealed a wealth of creature...

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