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February 2012
These creatures were collected by the MAREM (Marmara Environmental Monitoring) Project crew on 7th of August 2011 in the Sea of Marmara (sample location is over the line 40º48´10"N. 027º26´30"E / 40º48´12"N. 027º25´30"E.), at a depth of 800m in the west deep basin, i.e. one of the 3 deep basins in the Sea of Marmara that is located along the North Anatolian Fault.

The water mass in that basin consists of Mediterranean originated high salinity (dense/heavy) water that comes through the Dardanelles. From the high and stabile water temperature under the thermocline –appr. under 50m depth- (14.2˚C all year long) the species diversity of plankton samples are very high. The sample was collected with a Nansen plankton net, 155.00 µm mesh size, 60cm diameter mouth opening. The composition of sampling material was mainly copepoda.

Help with identification is highly appreciated.

Thanks and best regards,
Prof. M. Levent Artüz

M. Levent Artüz 2012/02/19

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Additional photos

M. Levent Artüz (2012/02/19)

In her PhD volume Renz (1976) described a new Liosphaeridae as Plegmosphaera lepticali Renz 1976, holotype is illustarted on her p. 181, plate 1, fig. 14.

I guess the species in question is rather closely related, but I doubt this is the same species.

Kjell R. Bjørklund (2012/02/20)

These creatures could be cysts of Acantharia, especially picture A (not sure about B and C). Acantharia are very abundant in the Mediterranean sea and in the Marmara sea. Quaiser et al (ISME 2010 1-10) have found many environmental sequences related to Acantharia very deep (up to 1000m)in the Marmara sea. This is my personal guess and a way to check whether they are truly acantharia is to make some elemental analyses to detect strontium.

Best regards,

Johan Decelle

Johan Decelle (2012/02/22)

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