Finding a large animal carcass on the deep seafloor is a pretty rare event. Only a handful have ever been discovered in the 50+ years of deep-sea photography. So when I was presented with video footage of four large carcasses from one small part of the seafloor, I knew that this was an important find.
Scientists have long suspected that the carcasses of dead animals might provide a food bonanza to specialist scavengers in the deep sea, but direct evidence of these events has been limited. The most well known examples are whale-falls; the amazing habitats created when a massive whale carcasss falls to the deep seafloor. Their carcasses support specialist animals, like the Osedax worms that eat the whale skeleton itself!
Despite lots of research on whale-falls, this is the first time that the carcasses of other large animals have been observed.