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Images: Happy as a (Newly Discovered) Clam

Engineer Tom Crook worked at WHOI for 33 years, primarily helping a team that maintains the remotely operated vehicle Jason. On the last research cruise before his retirement, he helped biologist Janet Voight position bags of wood pieces on the seafloor so she could learn about wood-boring mollusks. Crook, a Cape Cod resident, continues to work with the Jason team as a consultant. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Biologist Janet Voight, an expert in deep-sea mollusks, has worked at The Field Museum in Chicago since 1990. Though much of her biology career has been based far from the ocean?she completed her doctorate at the University of Arizona?she goes to sea regularly to learn about the ecology and evolution of marine animals. (Photo by Dianne Alexander White, The Field Museum)

On the seafloor off the Pacific Northwest coast, "X" marked the spot for 17 mesh bags filled with pieces of wood. Crook's deep-sea navigation skills helped recover the wood samples months later, allowing Voight to identify six new species of deep-sea clams. (Photo by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Clams collected from Voight's wood revealed six previously unknown species sharing space with flatworms. The find helped Voight learn about the role that sunken wood, a seemingly rare commodity on the seafloor, plays in supporting deep-sea life. "We collected animals from as deep as 3,227 meters (2 miles) under the surface and as far as 255 miles from land?and the nearest tree," Voight said. (Photo by Meg Daly, Ohio State University)