Deep-sea video technology tracks a monoplacophoran to the end of its trail (Mollusca, Tryblidia) Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018, The Author(s). Originally known as fossils from the Cambrian to the Devonian, the finding of a living monoplacophoran mollusc in 1952 was one of the great zoological discoveries of the twentieth century. Now, over 35 living species have been documented from deep-sea locations around the world, mainly from samples collected with trawls. Encountering these animals is extremely rare, and in situ observations are scant. Here, we report two new sightings and ecological data for a probable undescribed species of Neopilina including the first ever high-definition close-up video of these monoplacophorans in their natural environment, obtained while exploring seamount environments in American Samoa. Extensive trackways, similar to those associated with the monoplacophoran siting, may be evidence of a larger population at both seamounts. Living monoplacophorans are important to understanding the recent evolution of deep-sea fauna, yet their habitat, on polymetallic nodules and ferromanganese crusts, is under rapidly increasing pressure for deep-sea mineral extraction.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 30.222

author list (cited authors)

  • Sigwart, J. D., Wicksten, M. K., Jackson, M. G., & Herrera, S.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Sigwart, Julia D||Wicksten, Mary K||Jackson, Matthew G||Herrera, Santiago

publication date

  • April 2019