bentho-, benth-

(Greek: deep, depth; the fauna and flora of the bottom of the sea; sea bottom; depth [by extension, this element includes lake, river, and stream bottoms])

benthopotamous (adjective) (not comparable)
Referring to organisms or plants living on the bed or bottom of a river or stream: Little Tommy wanted to watch the benthopotamous creatures while he was walking slowly through of the clear creek next to his home.
benthos (s) (noun) (no pl)
1. The plants and animals attached to, living on, in or near the sea bed, river bed, or lake floor: The benthos living in such a region include the permanently attached or immobile forms (e.g., sponges, corals, oysters), creeping forms (e.g., crabs, snails), and the burrowing animals (e.g., worms).

Barnacles, the larger seaweeds, and sea squirts are also members of this group.

The benthos are divided into "sessile" organisms (those that are attached to the bottom or to objects on or near the bottom) and "vagrant" organisms (those that crawl or swim along the bottom).
2. The biogeographic region at the bottom of a sea or ocean (or, more broadly, at the soil-water interface of an ocean, sea, or lake): The benthos must provide the type of living conditions that are necessary for certain plants to grow successfully.

For more information, see Benthos Addendum.

benthoscope (s) (noun), benthoscopes (pl)
A modified bathysphere, a strong steel deep-sea diving sphere: Jim, the scientist, was lowered in a benthoscope by cable to the depth of 3,000 feet (900 meters) to observe the exceptional species of plants and animals that he was going to include in his next publication.
endobenthic (adjective) (not comparable)
Pertaining to an organism or plant that thrives within the sediment on the ocean floor: In her biology class at school, Susan's project had to include information regarding the endobenthic animals and vegetation that existed on the bottom of the sea.
endobenthos (s) (noun) (no pl)
An organism living within the sediment on the sea bed or lake floor; infauna: Such endobenthos are know to bury or burrow themselves into the sediment, usually in the oxygenated upper layer.
epibenthic (adjective) (not comparable)
The community of organisms living at the surface of the seabed or lake floor: Epibenthic crustaceans have predators, including the fringefin trivially.
epibenthos (s) (noun) (no pl)
1. The community of organisms living at the surface of the seabed or lake floor: Jane was very interested in epibenthos, the creatures that like to craw about on top the sediments, like a sea cucumber or a sea snail.
2. Fauna and flora of the bottom of the sea; Epibenthos grow between the low-water mark and the mesobenthos and down to a hundred-fathom line or the 200-meter line.
eurybenthic (adjective) (not comparable)
Pertaining to living things existing on the seabed or at the bottom of a lake over a wide range of depth: In contrast to eurybenthic organisms, stenobathic ones live only within a certain restricted deepness of water.
geobenthos (s) (noun) (no pl)
1. The sum total of all terrestrial life: Mrs. Timmons bought a book about geobenthos in order to read about living creatures existing on land, but not in aquatic regions.
2. That part of the bottom of a stream or lake not covered by vegetation: Mrs. Smith's friend borrowed a book from the library about geobenthos, which was all about seabeds and lakebeds.
haptobenthos (s) (noun) (no pl)
An aquatic organism that lives closely applied to, or growing on, submerged surfaces: The tiny plants Joan found attached to some solid layers of rock in the lake were termed haptobenthos, which she read about later in her biology book.
herpobenthos (s) (noun) (no pl)
An organism growing or moving through muddy sediments: When Susan was walking with bare feet through the stream she was careful not to step on any herpobenthos that she could see.
holobenthic (adjective) (not comparable)
Relating to an inhabitant of the seabed throughout all stages of its life: Such holobenthic animals are evidently not able to breath oxygen above sea level.
holobenthos (s) (noun) (no pl)
An organism that exists in the depths of the sea at all stages of the life cycle: Janet read that one holobenthos, called a zombie worm, is only found in the deepness of the ocean.
hyperbenthic (adjective) (not comparable)
Regarding a living thing that inhabits the area above the floor of the sea: In his term paper for school, Greg needed more information about hyperbenthic species, including their life cycle.
hyperbenthos (s) (noun) (no pl)
An organism that thrives just above but close to the substratum or sediment: The hyperbenthos, living in the water layer close to the seabed, includes endemic species, planktonic species, and endo- or epibenthic species.

Inter-related cross references, directly or indirectly, involving the "sea" and the "ocean" bodies of water: abysso- (bottomless); Atlantic; batho-, bathy- (depth); halio-, halo- (salt or "the sea"); mare, mari- (sea); necto-, nekto- (swimming); oceano-; pelago- (sea, ocean); plankto- (drifting); thalasso- (sea, ocean).