Slackjaw Sally here to tell you a bit about Sentry. Sentry is an autonomous underwater vehicle so it doesn’t need a human to drive it around. It follows its preprogrammed path mapping the ocean floor and collecting data. It has a streamlined body and 4 propeller-like thrusters to help it move about. Sentry can function up to 6000 meters below the ocean surface – over 3 miles deep. Yikes! Six thousand meters, even I won’t go below 1000 meters – I’m under a lot of pressure down here and I just couldn’t take it at that depth.
Anyway, Sentry takes chemical and magnetic measurements while it maps the ocean floor. Anomalous measurements may indicate a black smoker – that’s a vent in the seafloor allowing hot gases and water to escape providing nutrients for chemophiles and an entire food web that depends on them as the primary producer.
Personally, I’ve got bigger fish to fry! I live in the mesopelagic and love to eat anything that comes my way. Mostly I get copepods and other plankton, but sometimes I get the full meal deal and catch a fish. I’m about 15 centimeters long (6 inches) and can eat fish almost as big as me because of my loose jaw and gills that open to the outside so I won’t suffocate while I’m swallowing. Hee-hee, I like that part. I’ve been flapping my jaw long enough.
Got to swim!