—A sea lily or stalked crinoid, found nearly 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) down.
The Amundsen Sea has troughs and basins that can be over 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) deep.
These geological structures are left over from previous ice ages; animals, some of which persist today, might have taken refuge there.
The creatures found in the Amundsen Sea—such as starfish, urchins, and brittle stars—are surprisingly more mobile than those found in other seas around Antarctica, which are generally dominated by large, sedentary sponges, she said.
This suggests that in the past, the sea creatures could have moved to more habitable environments when needed.
But more changes are coming to the Amundsen due to the breakup of the ice shelf caused by warming waters, so studying the animals now is crucial.
“Until now we knew nothing” about the animals that inhabit the Amundsen seafloor, Linse said.
“Our recent study gives us a first insight into the biodiversity of this region and can serve as a baseline to observe future changes.”