Mesopelagic zone

Mesopelagic zone
Aquatic layers
Pelagic
   Photic
      Epipelagic
   Aphotic
      Mesopelagic
      Bathyalpelagic
      Abyssopelagic
      Hadopelagic
Demersal
Benthic
Stratification
Pycnocline
   Isopycnal
   Chemocline
      Halocline
   Thermocline
      Thermohaline
Marine habitats
Lake stratification
Aquatic ecosystems
Wild fisheries
Land habitats
Pelagic zones

The mesopelagic (Greek μέσον, middle) (also known as the middle pelagic or twilight zone) is that part of the pelagic zone that extends from a depth of 200 to 1000 metres (650 to 3300 feet) below the ocean surface. It lies between the photic epipelagic above and the aphotic bathypelagic below, where there is no light at all. Although some light penetrates this deep, it is insufficient for photosynthesis. Though the temperature varies less at any one height than the epipelagic, the mesopelagic is the location of the thermocline, and in warmer regions of the world the temperatures varies from over 20°C (68°F) at the top to around 4°C (39°F) at the boundary with the bathyal zone. Animals such as swordfish, squids, wolf eels, cuttlefish, and other semi-deepsea creatures live here. Also, there is enough sunlight for animals, such as the chain catshark, to be fluorescent.

See also

  • Mesopelagic fish



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  • mesopelagic zone — /mizoʊpəˈlædʒɪk zoʊn/ (say meezohpuh lajik zohn) noun the middle layer of the ocean which receives some sunlight but not enough for photosynthesis; between 200 and 1000 m below the surface. Compare abyssopelagic zone, bathypelagic zone,… …   Australian-English dictionary

  • mesopelagic zone — the pelagic environment at depths listed above …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • mesopelagic — /mizoʊpəˈlædʒɪk/ (say meezohpuh lajik) adjective of, relating to, or inhabiting the mesopelagic zone. {meso + pelagic} …   Australian-English dictionary

  • mesopelagic — Zone in the open ocean 200 1000m below the surface, or pertaining to it inhabitants [Butler, T.H.] …   Crustacea glossary

  • Mesopelagic — The mesopelagic (Greek μέσον, middle) (also known as the middle pelagic or twilight zone ) is a pelagic zone extending from 200 m (650 ft.) down to around 1000 m (3280 ft.) below sea level. It is located between the photic epipelagic and the… …   Wikipedia

  • mesopelagic — adj. [Gr. mesos, middle; pelagos, sea] Pertaining to the pelagic zone of intermediate depth of 200 1000 m; between the epipelagic and bathypelagic zones …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • mesopelagic — adjective Describing a pelagic zone of the oceans between the photic epipelagic and the aphotic bathypelagic zones …   Wiktionary

  • Pelagic zone — Aquatic layers Pelagic    Photic       Epipelagic …   Wikipedia

  • Oceanic zone — Marine habitats The oceanic zone is the deep open ocean water that lies off the continental slopes Littoral zone Intertidal zone …   Wikipedia

  • bathypelagic zone — /bæθipəˈlædʒɪk zoʊn/ (say batheepuh lajik zohn) noun the part of the ocean between the mesopelagic and abyssopelagic zones, between depths of 1000 m and 4000 m; with no sunlight and great water pressure it has relatively few inhabitants; midnight …   Australian-English dictionary

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