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Maya Water World



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Living Treasure
Photograph by Wes Skiles

Descending to where no light penetrates—one hundred feet (30 meters) deep into a cenote—expedition biologist Tom Iliffe of Texas A&M University captures an isopod, a type of crustacean, in a specimen bottle. Iliffe studies stygofauna, small, eyeless, colorless animals that survive in the submerged cave systems of the Yucatán. Even deeper, where divers cannot go, living fossils swim in oxygen-depleted waters below the halocline, the boundary layer where lighter fresh water gives way to heavier salt water.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Sony High-Definition Digital HDW F900 24P
Film Type: Fujinon HDCAM tape
Lens: Canon 5.2mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/40 @ f/2.8

Weather Conditions: Wet
Time of Day: 5 p.m.
Lighting Techniques: Two 18 Watt HDI
Special Equipment or Comments: This is a single frame from a digital High-definition camera in progressive scan mode. The camera amazingly shot 30 images a second, of which some are good enough to publish in National Geographic.



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