Photo album:

Whale-Come to the Boney Buffet

This site was surely an exciting visit for everyone on board during the Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) Maintenance and Exploration expedition! In the depths of the ocean, where food is scarce, a whale fall provides an abundance of nutrients for a number of benthic fauna (organisms that live near the seafloor). The tube worms seen on the jaw bones are of great interest to ONC Senior Scientist Fabio De Leo who said those individuals are likely the same seen fourteen years ago when the skeleton was first discovered. Additional organisms decorating this bony buffet include gastropods, isopods and lithodid crabs. 

ONC started observing this skeleton in 2012, visiting when there were openings in their yearly maintenance expeditions. The continued surveys of the whale will be integral in understanding the decomposition process. 

Read more at the blog post Revisiting a Whale Fall at Clayoquot Slope’s Cold Seep.

Album curated by Lead Science Communication Fellow, Malanai N. Kane Kuahiwinui with the assistance of Lauren Hudson and Fabio De Leo.

(Identifications are preliminary and may change with further examination by experts)