It may have been a short leg exploring the Straits of Florida, but that didn't stop us from grabbing some beautiful stills of these deep sea creatures. Here are a few of our favorites from those dives, which covered several diverse underwater ecosystems. We'll have many more photos like this on our Instagram for the rest of the season, so keep an eye out for that.
5. Isopod and Skate
We came across lots of Ispods on this expedition. Many of them were burrowing into the sand, but this one was right out in the open alongside a skate. They are closely related to a more familiar land species - the pill bug (often called a roly-poly).
4. Crab and Sponge
Camouflage is a popular adaptation to deter aggressive deep sea predators, but this species of crab has an interesting take on the concept. They will fashion "hats" out of sponges and are nearly impossible to distinguish from the surrounding environment while they stand still.
We spotted several dolphins alongside Nautilus while we were running our multibeam sonar off the coast of Florida. They swam alongside us for a few minutes as our team snapped these photos.
This Frogfish is a predatory anglerfish that spends much of its time lying in wait on the seafloor for prey to wander past. When an unsuspecting fish or crustacean gets too close, the Frogfish attacks, eating its prey whole.
1. Tripod Fish
Tripod Fish use modified fins as "legs" so they can get high enough to face into currents and filter feed. This sort of adaptation allows them to eat without using much energy, an important feature in the extreme seafloor environments.