Deep Reef and Sea Floor

Beyond the kelp reef, in deeper waters, where sunlight rarely filters through and no seaweeds grow, the rocks are covered with all sorts of marine life. The rocky ledges make a perfect home for creatures including anemones, soft corals, lobsters and feather stars. Fast moving currents flow past and provide a rich source of plankton for those animals that can hold tightly enough to the rock face to catch a meal.

Further still away from the shoreline, the seabed changes from rock to sand and eventually is blanketed by a fine mud. Although the effects of the waves are felt less in the deeper water, the fine sediment that settles out is easily moved by any water motion. Seaweeds can’t take hold and grow here so many of the animals that live on the sea floor depend on another food source – detritus. Detritus consists of the remains of other plants and animals and is brought in by currents from the coast or settles out from above. Some animals bury in the mud, searching for food as they go, while others raise delicate tentacles into the water currents to catch tasty morsels.

The Macduff Marine Aquarium is the only aquarium in Scotland to exhibit some of these weird and wonderful muddy sea-floor dwellers.

StarfishFish Finder – a guide to what you may see in the deep reef and sea floor exhibits.