Sunday, December 10, 2006

New Worlds of Marine Life

The report from the sixth year of the global Census of Marine Life effort includes some startling discoveries. Highlights include the shrimp Neoglyphea neocaledonica, found in the Coral Sea and nicknamed the "Jurassic shrimp" by scientists who knew it only as a fossil dated to 50 million years ago. Another was the marine crab covered in hairlike filaments, so strange it required creation of a new family, Kiwaidae. Expeditions trawled up new species from an unexplored environment 1,600 feet below the Antarctic ice shelf and a thermal vent three miles below the Sargasso Sea. A new rock lobster, weighing four pounds, popped up off Madagascar, and the Nazare Canyon off Portugal yielded a single-celled, shelled animal, of incredible size (0.4 inches in diameter).
As researcher Ron O'Dor put it: "We can't find anyplace where we can't find anything new."

No comments: