BIO 203


Enypniastes eximia is a very small organism with a gelatinous bodies that allows them to move freely and effortlessly in the deep sea. These creatures use 12 appendages accompanied by a webbed skirt-like structure to propel themselves to and from the ocean floor (Ohta, 1985). These structures function by using different positions and movements to accomplish a seemingly graceful movement. Fanning of the skirt-like structure allows this creature to use its body as a parachute to slowly descend to the ocean floor (Ohta, 1985). On the ocean floor, E. eximia feed on sediments and secrete waste material. It has both a mouth and anus to obtain, digest, and excrete food.
When not on the ocean floor, the organism spends most of its time in midwater. According to Robinson, E. eximia are one of the sea creatures that utilize bioluminescence (2004). Bioluminescence is used for many reasons including vision in the dark and predator warning. This particular organism uses the trait to identify potential predators. The glow begins with any mechanical stimuli, and the more intense the bump the more significant its effects are. If a predator comes into contact with this organism, its bioluminescent skin begins to glow and gets sloughed off from the impact and sticks to its predator (Robison, 2004). The glowing parts of skin sticking to the predator allows time for escape and distracts the predator. Mechanisms like this save the organism from definite danger from even its large predators. Check out a video of this defense mechanism here!


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