Life beneath a glacier tongue

Life under the Mertz Glacier tongue includes sea pens, bryozoans, gorgonians, brittle stars, anemones, holothurians, sponges, urchins, crinoids and sea stars.
Life under the Mertz Glacier tongue includes sea pens, bryozoans, gorgonians, brittle stars, anemones, holothurians, sponges, urchins, crinoids and sea stars (Photo: AAD)
A sea star measuring about 50 cm across

The calving of the Mertz Glacier tongue in February 2010 exposed a large section of the sea floor, about 80 km long and over 30 km wide, enabling access to an area where no information currently exists.

In January this year (2011) a team of scientists and technicians from Geoscience Australia and the Australian Antarctic Division used an underwater camera to collect the first images of the sea floor and the marine animals that live there. Read more in the Australian Antarctic Magazine.