via the NOAA photo library http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/htmls/expl6751.htm
Here's some video to give you an idea of what it looks like/how it moves, etc. (I would watch without sound to enjoy the zen of the animal)
IF the name doesn't sound familiar, the animal's distinctive appearance definitely stays glued in your head after you've seen one! Imagine a big blobby sea cucumber with what looks to be a HUGE LOBE sticking out of its hind end!
Note the image above contrasted to this diagram showing mouth (top) and anus end (with lobe-bottom).
The genus Psychropotes is derived from the Greek for Psychros which means "cold or frigid" and "potes" which honestly, I could not find a definitive translation for... One root translated to "flight"? possibly alluding to the ability of this species to swim...And another colleague tells me it might mean "dweller". Ah well, one mystery at a time!!
Psychropotes includes 11 species which occur widely, all around the world in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern (but not in the Arctic) oceans in the deep abyss of the world's oceans! That means roughly 2000 to 6000m. They are the deepest of the deep! Considered "classic" deep-sea inhabitants they were collected and described from the HMS Challenger's historic mission.
These can be pretty BIG animals!! as this image from a recent MBARI expedition demonstrates. (with deep-sea biologist Greg Rouse for scale!)
|From MBARI https://twitter.com/sarahkeartes/status/593979334056022016|
Note the one above with the shorter, forked "lobe" Is it the SAME species as the purple one shown earlier? Is this variation? (such as what we might see in humans who live in different parts of the world) Or are these separate species?
|Figure 2 from Gubili et al. 2016|
|Figure 3 from Ghibili et al.|
....now if I could only figure out what the "potes" part of Psychropotes means!
— Libby Ross (@Libby_Ross) January 27, 2013
|from ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Psychropotes-varipes-Stuffed-Toy-sea-cucumber-peluches-Kuscheltiere-Japan-Eboshi-/271795943477|