Marshall, Norman B. British Museum of Natural History, London, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Bathypelagic fauna
- Deep-sea nekton
- Benthic fauna
- Attached benthic organisms
- Benthic crawlers and swimmers
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Marine animal life inhabiting the portion of the ocean below the upper limit of the continental slopes. The deep sea may be regarded as that part of the ocean 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 12,000 ft (4000 m), and provide living space for communities of animals that are quite different from those inhabiting the land-fringing waters which overlie the continental shelves (neritic zone). See also: Ecological communities; Marine ecology
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