Want to give an arachnophobic diver a heart attack? Put a Japanese spider crab in his path. These critters have very, very long legs which can extend up to 12 feet. Despite their somewhat intimidating appearance, they are reported to be quite docile and friendly, and a lot less scary than many of the more innocuous looking species that inhabit the ocean floor.
The daintily named sea pig is actually a kind of locally abundant sea cucumber that inhabits the world’s abyssal plains up to 3.7 miles beneath the surface. It gets its name from a characteristic pink, eggplant-shaped body and bloated legs that give it a porcine appearance. Like their shallower cucumber cousins, sea pigs play an important role in marine ecosystems. They feed on detritus that falls to the seafloor from the rich waters above, whether plankton or a whale carcass. They walk along on a few large tube feet, using a combination of muscle contractions and body fluids. Modified pairs of legs can act as antennae to detect food.
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