Tuesday, January 5, 2010


animals that inhabit the zone of the sea that extends beyond the continental shelf and below the limit of light penetration. This abyssal zone is characterized by unusual living conditions, namely, the water is always cold, there is little movement, and there is not enough light to support green plants. An even harsher aspect of the abyssal environment is the tremendous pressure created by the weight of water, about one ton per square inch for every mile of depth. Abyssal animals feed on the remains of plants and animals settling from upper levels of the ocean or they devour each other. The sea floor is a soft, deep ooze made up of the remains of minute animals and plants. Living on this ooze are various invertebrates, such as starfishes, sea urchins, and tube-dwelling worms, which have been collected at depths up to 24,000 ft.

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