North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Life on the Edge: Exploring Deep Ocean Habitats - NC Museum of Natural Sciences
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Q: What is the difference between a right-sided flounder and a regular flounder? Is there a left-sided flounder?

A: All species of flounder are either right- or left-sided. Each species is found one way or the other. When they first hatch, they swim upright and then they settle on the bottom. The eyes will migrate to the side of the body that is on top.sea robin - click for a larger image

Q: The sea robins sound interesting. Please send pictures of these legged fishes.

A: Sea Robins are fascinating. There are many different species. They tend to have bodies that look a bit like the sub in the movie "20,000 Leagues under the Sea." Many of them have modified fins that look like legs on the bottom of their bodies.

Q: How much weight is the Neuston Net supposed to hold?

A: The Neuston Net is designed for small catches. We would expect to catch 0-15 gallons of sargassum at the most. It was amazing to see how much came up during our enormous haul the other night!

Q: Is it cold in the water of the ocean?

A: The air temperature has been in the 80s and the water has also been in the 80s. The water is much colder below the surface, and in general it gets colder the deeper you go.

Q: What is it like underwater?

A: It is very quiet underwater. Light penetrates about 800 feet. At greater depths, it is completely dark. Fewer fish appear as you descend deeper into the ocean. Of course, no plants grow at the great depths.

Q: How do you stay connected to the Internet on a boat?

A: We use satellites to send our e-mail messages. This means that we can only send mail twice a day (and that is why your update is sometimes a little bit out of date). We have a wonderful person who takes all of the messages that we get from the Web and sends them to us. She then gets all of our answers and sends them to our Webmaster so she can post them on the Web site.

Q: What is the biggest thing you have caught?

A: Today we caught a large soapfish. It has no scales; instead, it has a slime coating.

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