Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Species from the Pacific

A protected marine area northwest of Hawaii has yielded a bonanza of new and rare species of marine animal. A three-week expedition in the French Frigate Shoals area netted over a thousand species of invertebrates. Examples include a sea star (starfish) colored bright purple and measuring a foot (30cm) across the arms and "a hermit crab that dons a sea anemone and sports shiny golden claws."
There is still much work to be done to determine how many of these are new, but one zoologist with the team said, "There were lots of organisms that people were saying, 'Wow! What's that?'"

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