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[mass noun] The flora and fauna living on the surface of the bottom of a sea or lake.
- ‘As discussed above for the genus, this echinoid is interpreted to have lived upright as epibenthos, with the long axis perpendicular to the substrate.’
- ‘Values were predicted to be low among the crustacean-dominated epibenthos since we expected marsh detritus to be a prominent food resource.’
- ‘Until the 1970s, the continental shelf of the Beaufort Sea off Alaska was also considered barren of rocky substrates and associated epibenthos.’
- ‘This overall form, together with the apparent restriction of Eurytholia fossils to calcareous deposits, suggests that the animal was not pelagic but belonged instead to the vagile epibenthos.’
Early 20th century: from Greek epi upon + benthos depth of the sea.
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