Collections from Curaçao

During the 2012 field season of the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) in Curaçao, Smithsonian scientists collected many specimens with the help of the Curasub. Prospective new species were caught on almost every dive as the scientists explored the biodiversity of the mid- and deep-sea ecosystems.

A sea toad from the deep waters off of Curacao.
This purple urchin Paleopneustes cristatus is seldom seen by itself, and can be found in groups of hundreds.An unidentified moray eel held in researcher's hands. A tusk shell hermit crab peeks out of his shell. This small sea star, little more than an inch across, is orange on top and whitish underneath.This sea cucumber, collected at 830 feet, hosts a pearl fish, which lives in its anus!A pearlfish, which lives in the orange sea cucumber's anus, emerges to feed.