100Plus New Marine Species Discovered Around Bermuda

first_img A recent discovery of more than 100 unknown aquatic species around Bermuda confirms the existence of a new ocean zone.The rariphotic (rare light) zone extends 400 to 1,000 feet beneath the surface—sandwiched between two of three other regions defined by their distinct biological communities.This major breakthrough was defined during a two-year deep ocean survey, organized by British charity for ocean exploration Nekton and led by marine research scientists from Oxford University.Most of their work was focused on the Bermuda Platform in the North Atlantic, where analysts hoped to identify changing biological, chemical, and physical parameters across a series of ecosystems (including the Gulf Stream).What they found was even better.A network of scientists from 15 different marine research institutes revealed more than 100 new species—from tiny tanaids to charismatic black wire coral, and dozens of algae varieties in between.“Considering the Bermuda waters have been comparatively well studied for many decades, we certainly weren’t expecting such a large number and diversity of new species,” Oxford professor Alex Rogers, scientific director of the Nekton Oxford Deep Ocean Research Institute, said in a statement.Since September 2016, researchers worked to analyze 40,000 specimens and nearly 4,000 gallons of water samples.“We have discovered at least 13 new crustacean species, including tanaids, gnathiid isopods, and leptostracans,” according to Mission member Nick Schizas, of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez.“We believe we have discovered dozens of new species of algae, including the deepest-ever record to have had its DNA sequenced,” Trinity College professor and participating scientist Craig Schneider boasted. “Many are recognized for demonstrating a new biogeographical link between Bermuda and the Indo-Pacific.”Full results from the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey are expected to be published by September; the first of at least 20 scientific papers based on their findings have been released.“These discoveries are evidence of how little we know and how important it is to document this unknown frontier to ensure that its future is protected,” Rogers added. Stay on target Watch: Great White Shark Bumps Into Boat Near Whale CarcassMan Paddles 2,900 Miles Across Pacific to Help Curb Ocean Pollution center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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