Marshall, Norman B. British Museum of Natural History, London, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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- Bathypelagic fauna
- Benthic fauna
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Marine animal life inhabiting the portion of the oceans below the upper limit of the continental slopes. The marine animals that make up the deep-sea fauna live below the photic zone of the oceans. In general, the deep sea may be regarded as that part of the oceans below the upper limit of the continental slopes (Fig. 1). Its waters fill the deep ocean basins, cover about two-thirds of the Earth's surface, have an average depth of about 4000 m (13,000 ft), and provide living space for communities of animals that are quite different from those inhabiting the land-fringing waters that overlie the continental shelves (neritic zone). See also: Continental margin; Ecological communities; Marine ecology
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