Life in a warm deep sea: routine activity and burst swimming performance of the shrimp Acanthephyra eximia in the abyssal Mediterranean

David Mark Bailey, Philip Michael Bagley, Alan John Jamieson, A. Cromarty, M. A. Collins, A. Tselepidis, Imants George Priede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Measurements of routine swimming speed, "tail-flip'' escape responses, and oxygen consumptions were made of the deep-sea shrimp Acanthephyra eximia using autonomous landers in the Rhodos Basin at depths of up to 4,400 m and temperatures of 13 - 14.5 degrees C. Routine swimming speeds at 4,200 m averaged 0.18 m s(-1) or 3.09 body lengths s(-1), approximately double those of functionally similar oceanic scavengers. During escape responses peak accelerations of 23 m s(-2) or 630.6 body lengths s(-2) were recorded, with animals reaching speeds of 1.61 m s(-1) or 34.8 body lengths s(-2). When compared to shallow-water decapods at similar temperatures these values are low for a lightly calcified shrimp such as A. eximia despite a maximum muscle mass specific power output of 90.0 W kg(-1). A preliminary oxygen consumption measurement indicated similar rates to those of oceanic crustacean scavengers and shallower-living Mediterranean crustaceans once size and temperature had been taken into account. These animals appear to have high routine swimming speeds but low burst muscle performances. This suite of traits can be accounted for by high competition for limited resources in the eastern Mediterranean, but low selective pressure for burst swimming due to reductions in predator pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1206
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number6
Early online date8 Jan 2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • oxygen-consumption
  • metabolic-rates
  • temperature resistance
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • thermal-acclimation
  • muscle mitochondria
  • escape performance
  • Pacific-Ocean
  • fish
  • amphipods

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