Friday, August 27, 2010

New deep-sea wonders

Three weeks' use of an advanced ROV with a color camera off Indonesia has revealed a colorful seafloor ecosystem populated by rare and unusual creatures. One scientist estimated the expedition had found " least 40 new species of deep-water coral and at least 50 new species that include benthic shrimp, crabs, sponges, clams, barnacles, anemones and sea cucumbers." Sea spiders 20cm across crawled near stalked sea lilies, a group once abundant in many ocean areas but increasingly hard to find. Add a lavender fish "walking" on the bottom and a pink-spined carnivorous sponge, and there's something interesting for any marine life aficionado.

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