This image of a large crab walking among a herd of brittle stars was captured last month off the coast of San Diego by remotely operated underwater vehicle Trident aboard Scripps Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride.
ROV Trident was getting a "shakeout" during one of a series of science verification cruises intended to test and validate Sally Ride's research capabilities. Trident can be equipped with a variety of sensors and piloted remotely as deep as 2,000 meters (6,500 feet).
Though none of the researchers aboard were specifically studying animals on the seafloor, the video feed from the vehicle drew both crewmembers and scientists to the lab, writes Melissa Miller.
More photos and some video clips are available on Miller's post on the Sally Ride expedition blog. Animals in the images were identified by Scripps graduate student Natalya Gallo.
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