Life in the Deep Sea

Nature (July 1870)

[187] The interest which attaches to every fact which bears upon the phenomena of life at great depths in the ocean, will, I hope, excuse me for especially directing the attention of the readers of Nature to the "Belträge zur Plastiden Theorie" (published in the fifth volume of the Jenaische Zeitschrift), with a separate copy of which my friend Prof. Haeckel has just favoured me.

The longest of the papers which constitute the"Beiträge," is devoted to a careful study of Bathybius, and the associated Coccoliths and Coccospheres; and it is a mattaer of great satisfaction that Prof. Haeckel has arrived at conclusions which, in all the main points, agrees with my own respecting these remarkable organisms.

In a second paper Prof. Haeckel describes a wonderful Radiolarian, Myxobrachia, observed during his stay at the Canary Islands, the further study of which promises to throw a new light upon the nature of the Coccoliths and Coccospheres; inasmuch as bodies of the same character were found accumulated, and apparently developed, in masses at the extremity of certain prolongations of the protoplasm of Myxobrachia. As Myxobrachia attains a length of half an inch, and seems to be abundant in the harbour of Lanzerote, it is to be hoped that Prof. Haeckel, and other naturalists, will not long remain deprived of the opportunity of submitting it to re—examination.

Another iimportant discovery made public in the "Beiträge," is the existence of starch in the well-known "yellow cells" of the Radiolaria. In connection with this fact, it is interestaing to remark that all the Radiolaria are floating organisms, and, consequently, that they are fully exposed to the light of the sun.


C. Blinderman & D. Joyce
Clark University