Giant balls of snot

Bjorn Cary at MSNBC:

050610_oceansnot_vmed_2pScientists have discovered giant sinking mucus “houses” that double the amount of food on the sea floor.

The mucus houses, or “sinkers,” are produced by tadpole-like animals not much bigger than your index finger. As sinkers drop to the sea floor, small sea critters and other food particles get stuck to the mucus and end up on the bottom of the ocean.

For years scientists have observed loads of life at the bottom of the ocean. But they weren’t able to find enough food — carbon — to support all that life. Sinkers, previously overlooked, may help fill that gap.

More here.