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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 387 - Feature article
The abyssal grenadier Coryphaenoides armatus feeds predominantly on crustaceans and carrion, and not on echinoderms, which are the most abundant benthic megafauna. Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Drazen JC, Phleger CF, Guest MA, Nichols PD


Lipid composition and diet inferences in abyssal macrourids of the eastern North Pacific


Macrourid fishes (rattails or grenadiers) are attracted to carrion, but it has remained unclear whether the carrion is opportunistically consumed or forms a significant source of macrourid nutrition. Drazen and colleagues compared the fatty acid profiles of two macrourids inhabiting the abyssal North Pacific, as well as their potential benthic prey and potential carrion from surface waters. The results suggest considerable consumption of carrion and benthic crustaceans, and little use of echinoderms, which are the dominant megafauna in the abyssal ocean. This indicates that epipelagic populations constitute a significant part of the diet in abyssal fishes.


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