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Getting Tangled You and the other scientists with you start to swim downward. You follow long, fl exible kelp stems that extend from the gas sacs down through the kelp forest into deeper water. T e kelp blades billow with the moving


water. It’s like trying to swim through piano strings—there is something ready to snag you at any moment. Suddenly, you are yanked to a halt. Your


dive partner notices and swims over. He pulls tangled kelp blades out of your gear. Together, you carefully continue your descent. T e light grows dimmer and the shadows darker. You see many young rockfi sh feeding on


the kelp. T ey dart beneath the leafy blades for protection whenever something larger than them swims by. But that tactic doesn’t always work. A large gopher rockfi sh is eating several of the smaller fi sh.


gas sac kelp blade


Giant kelp blades fl utter in the ocean currents.


Divers swim into the murky depths of a kelp forest.


JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2016 5


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