Home Science news Seal lice can survive the pressure found 4000 metres under the sea

Seal lice can survive the pressure found 4000 metres under the sea

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The lice that stay on elephant seals can survive the pressures of the deep sea

Paul Souders / Getty Images

Seal lice – blood-sucking marine bugs that stay on seals, sea lions and walruses – can survive the crush of the deep ocean, withstanding the equal of pressures found 2000 metres deep for a number of minutes. One louse even survived the pressures found at 4000 metres deep.

Seal lice (Lepidophthirus macrorhini) stay out their complete lifecycle on their marine hosts, and former analysis has proven that these insects survive being submerged in seawater for days by getting into an motionless, low metabolism state …

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