Definition: Whale fall is the term used for a whale carcass that has fallen to the ocean floor. When a whale dies in shallow water, its carcass is typically devoured by scavengers over a relatively short period of time: within several months. However, in deeper water (depths of 2,000 m/6,600 ft or greater), fewer scavenger species exist, and the carcass can provide sustenance for a complex localized ecosystem over periods of decades.
Definition: The marine hydrothermal vent biome comprises regions of the marine benthic biome where heat generated due to tectonic activity, either at divergent plate boundaries or convergent ocean plates where back-arc spreading occurs, is released or 'vented' to the surface. The resultant high temperature water jets are laden with dissolved metals and minerals.
Definition: muscular waves propelling an animal over a mucus layer overlaying the substrate; alternating regions of muscular contraction and expansion create traveling waves that shear the mucus, resulting in translation of the animal.
Definition: Capable of creating a new organism by combining the genetic material of two gametes, which may come from two parent organisms or from a single organism, in the case of self-fertilizing hermaphrodites.