A green sea slug found off North America’s east coast not only looks like a leaf, but can also make food out of sunlight, just like a plant.
(AP) — A marine biologist says he has discovered a new crab species off the coast of southern Taiwan that looks like a strawberry with small white bumps on its red shell.
Follow the link for the rest of the article:
Thank you to Crumpled-Wings for yet another great find!
Quoted from the AP article Thousands of strange creatures found deep in ocean, by Cain Burdeau
Nov. 22, 2009
A report released Sunday recorded 17,650 species living below 656 feet, the point where sunlight ceases. The findings were the latest update on a 10-year census of marine life.
“Parts of the deep sea that we assumed were homogenous are actually quite complex,” said Robert S. Carney, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University and a lead researcher on the deep seas.
Thousands of marine species eke out an existence in the ocean’s pitch-black depths by feeding on the snowlike decaying matter that cascades down — even sunken whale bones. Oil and methane also are an energy source for the bottom-dwellers, the report said.
The researchers have found about 5,600 new species on top of the 230,000 known. They hope to add several thousand more by October 2010, when the census will be done.
The scientists say they could announce that a million or more species remain unknown. On land, biologists have catalogued about 1.5 million plants and animals.
More than 40 new species of coral were documented on deep-sea mountains, along with cities of brittlestars and anemone gardens. Nearly 500 new species ranging from single-celled creatures to large squid were charted in the abyssal plains and basins.
Also of importance were the 170 new species that get their energy from chemicals spewing from ocean-bottom vents and seeps. Among them was a family of “yeti crabs,” which have silky, hairlike filaments on the legs.
Scientists studying submerged sinkholes in the Great Lakes off the coast of northern Michigan have stumbled onto something they never expected to find: life forms akin to those found in some of Earth’s most extreme environments.
Read the article at Physorg.com
The incredibly pink Dragon Millipede is able to shoot cyanide.
It’s one of over a thousand species found in the Greater Mekong in the past 10 years- that’s an average of 2 new species found per week for 10 years!
Find more info at WWF online!
“ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2008) — A submarine expedition that went looking for visually flashy sea creatures instead found a drab, mud-covered blob that may turn out to be truly spectacular indeed.
The grape-like animal, tentatively named the Bahamian Gromia, is actually a single-celled organism, fully one inch long. But what makes it really fantastic is that it moves — very slowly — by rolling itself along the ocean floor.”
This is a major discovery in paleontology as well as marine biology!
Read the full article at ScienceDaily.com.
That’s not a drawing. That’s the real photo.
“The beady bits on the front of the Pacific barreleye fish in this picture released February 23, 2009, aren’t eyes but smell organs. The grayish, barrel-like eyes are beneath the green domes, which may filter light. In this picture the eyes are pointing upward—the better to see prey above in the darkness of the barreleye’s deep-sea home. Since the eyes are upright tubes, “it just looked like [they only] looked straight up,” MBARI marine technician Kim Reisenbichler said. But by watching live fish from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and by bringing a barrelfish to an aquarium for study, the scientists discovered that the eyes can pivot, like a birdwatcher pointing binoculars.”
Read more at National Geographic.
From National Geographic.com:
“A new species of Plesionika shrimp probably won’t be thrown on the barbie anytime soon. That’s because it was found living at depths of 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) off the coast of Tasmania, researchers announced in October 2008.
An Australian survey team found the shrimp–along with hundreds of new species of corals, starfish, sponges, shrimps, and crabs–within a network of marine reserves.
The latest discovery “shows us there’s so much out there that we don’t know” said Justin Marshall, a marine scientist at the University of Queensland who was not part of the survey team. “We may be destroying habitat before we even know what’s there, so we need to describe it before it’s gone.”
For more images, and to read the rest of the information available, visit National Geographic.
11:19 21 November 2008 by Emma Young
A new, third species of bottlenose dolphin has been discovered in the waters off southern Australia. It is only the second new dolphin to be discovered in 50 years.
Luciana Möller of the Marine Mammal Research Group at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and her colleagues were studying populations of what they thought were Indo-Pacific and common bottlenoses in southern waters.
DNA analysis, though, revealed that most the animals living close to the shores of the states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania were in fact a new species, belonging to a new genus. “They look very like the Indo-Pacific species, but genetically they’re very different,” says Möller.
The team has called the new species the Southern Australian bottlenose. It is awaiting a scientific name after a formal description.
Ok, all- this is a big one. I’m posting the heads up (kindly forwarded to me by the Amateur Naturalist), and will post more specifics if and when they come available:
from BBC News online:
An expedition to the rainforests of Guyana has discovered species new to science.
A team of researchers and wildlife film-makers spent six weeks searching the pristine forest as part of a BBC documentary.
The group believes it has revealed two fish species, one frog species and a number of bat flies that have not been described previously.
The finds are detailed in the BBC series Lost Land of the Jaguar.
The three-part documentary includes footage of the elusive South American cat.
Dr George McGavin was astonished at the variety of life on show
“In a short time, we caught hundreds of species, 10% of which may be new to science. It was unreal, unbelievable,” exclaimed Dr George McGavin, a zoologist and one of the four presenters of the documentary.
He added: “Catching is the easy bit, the hard bit is going back to the lab and examining the species, comparing them to collections and books – seeing if they are new to science. One hour in the field can equal hundreds of hours in the lab.”
Exerpt from original article by:
MICHAEL CASEY, AP Environmental Writer
Thursday, April 10, 2008
(04-10) 05:43 PDT BANGKOK, Thailand (AP)
A frog has been found in a remote part of Indonesia that has no lungs and breathes through its skin, a discovery that researchers said Thursday could provide insight into what drives evolution in certain species.
“These are about the most ancient and bizarre frogs you can get on the planet,” Bickford said of the brown amphibian with bulging eyes and a tendency to flatten itself as it glides across the water.
“They are like a squished version of Jabba the Hutt,” he said, referring to the character from Star Wars. “They are flat and have eyes that float above the water. They have skin flaps coming off their arms and legs.”
Along with the lungless frog, Bickford said his team discovered two new lizard species and four other species of frogs during their two-month trip.
Read full article at The San Francisco Chronicle online.
by Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO (Reuters) -
Using new DNA sequencing techniques, the researchers have identified as many as 37,000 different kinds of bacteria huddled near two hydrothermal vents on an underwater volcano off the Oregon coast.
“Many of these bacteria had never been reported before,” said Julie Huber of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, whose study appears in the journal Science.
Her research is part of an international effort to create a census of marine microbes, which make up as much as 90 percent of the total ocean biomass by weight.
Read the full, detailed article at Reuters.com.
From an article at
Science in Africa:
“South African Marine biologist Professor Charles Griffith from the University of Cape Town has chalked up the discovery of over 100 new species in his career. These include a new genus of freshwater shrimp, Mathamelita, named after his son Matthew, and a new family of seaslugs, Lemindidae named by his wife after their daughter Melinda – indeed a real family affair! His most recent find is larger meat though: a new giant species of spiny lobster, Palinurus barbarae (Decapoda Palinuridae) from Walters Shoals on the Madagascar Ridge.
Only three new lobster species have been identified in the past 12 years, worldwide. These beauties weigh in at up to 4kgs [*] and were discovered accidentally, when a Spanish fishing vessel working in the Indian Ocean docked in Durban and applied for a permit to export their lobster catch to Europe. …” continued…
*some sites have reported the lobsters weigh “1kg, or 4lbs”- which is incorrect anyway (1kg=2.2lbs approx), but the Census of Marine Life website lists them as 4kg, so I am trusting their data.
May 19, 2006
A host of record-breaking discoveries and revelations that stretch the extreme frontiers of marine knowledge were achieved by the Census of Marine Life in 2006, highlights of which were released today.
They include life adapted to brutal conditions around 407°C fluids spewing from a seafloor vent (the hottest ever discovered), a mighty microbe 1 cm in diameter, mysterious 1.8 kg (4 lb) lobsters off the Madagascar coast, a US school of fish the size of Manhattan Island, and more unfamiliar than familiar species turned up beneath 700 meters of Antarctic ice.
Below are some pics and brief descriptions of a few of the discoveries. Visit Census of Marine Life’s website to find out more about the creatures!
“A “Jurassic” shrimp, Neoglyphea neocaledonica, believed extinct for 50 million years, found in the Coral Sea. Credit: B. Richer de Forges ©2006″
“Antarctic Jellyfish: this species was filmed in Antarctic waters that have been kept in darkness for thousands of years by thick ice cover. …”
“ A new species of squid, Promachoteuthis sloani, found along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Credit: MAR-ECO/R. Young”
for National Geographic News
November 19, 2003
The number of rorqual whale species swimming in the world’s oceans has jumped to eight from six, according to new research by a team of Japanese scientists published in tomorrow’s issue of the science journal Nature. The research shows that rorquals commonly referred to as Bryde’s whales actually represent three distinct species.
Rorqual whales (Balaenoptera) do not have teeth. Instead they have baleen, a horny substance found in rows of plates along their upper jaws, and they are thus classified as baleen whales. They range from about 26 to 92 feet (8 to 28 meters) in length and weigh upwards of 220,000 pounds (100,000 kilograms).
Rorquals are found throughout the world’s oceans and are distinguished by their long bodies and pleated throats. Their most familiar species are the common minke whale (B. acutorostrata) and the blue whale (B. musculus). Read the full article at National Geographic.com– find out why the new species were only recently discovered, and the difficulties in studying this group of whales.
The AFP report can be found at DiscoveryNews.com
Scientists at Holar University College and the University of Iceland have discovered two species of groundwater amphipods (one of which is in its own family). These are currently the only species known to be endemic to Iceland.
Bjarni K. Kristjánsson, the scientist who found the two species, believes that their presence in Iceland can only be explained if they are leftovers from the last ice age.
From the EurekAlert article:
“Groundwater amphipods are poor at dispersal, and can not be transported with birds or humans,” says Jörundur Svavarsson. One of these new species falls within a new family of amphipods, which indicates that the species has been a long time in Iceland. “The time since the end of the last glaciation is not enough for a family to evolve,” says Svavarsson. Kristjansson and Svavarsson find it likely that the amphipod came to Iceland as early as 30-40 million years ago, when the volcanic island was being formed. “If our theory is right, we have discovered the oldest inhabitants of Iceland, and that can help us further understand how Iceland was formed,” says Kristjansson.
Full article at EurekAlert!
Image credit: Thorkell Heidarsson
by Brittany P. Yap
What appears to be a half-squid, half-octopus specimen found off Keahole Point on the Big Island remains unidentified today and could possibly be a new species, said local biologists.
The specimen was found caught in a filter in one of Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s deep-sea water pipelines last week. The pipeline, which runs 3,000 feet deep, sucks up cold, deep-sea water for the tenants of the natural energy lab.
“When we first saw it, I was really delighted because it was new and alive,” said Jan War, operations manager at NELHA. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”
According to Richard Young, an oceanography professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the specimen tentatively belongs to the genus Mastigoteuthis, but the species is undetermined.
War, who termed the specimen “octosquid” for the way it looked, said it was about a foot long, with white suction cups, eight tentacles and an octopus head with a squidlike mantle.
Get all the details, and another photo, from the original article at StarBulletin.com.
Find the June 29th announcement of the find at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
July 6, 2007
The specimen [died two days later, then] was preserved and sent to the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s oceanography team, which examined the carcass and today announced the deep-sea squid belongs to an already identified species. However, so little is known about the species that scientists have not yet given it a name.
Read the update and what they’ve learned about the octosquid at National Geographic Online.
I just did a quick search and found this as well!
Discovery of undersea creature leads to new archaeal phylum
By Kate Dalke
May 9, 2002
A new microbe has been discovered in an undersea hydrothermal vent off the coast of Iceland. The creature, named Nanoarchaeum equitans, is a member of the Archaea, the domain of life that is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria. The microbe does not fit any existing taxonomic groups, so the researchers who discovered it have proposed a new archaeal phylum called Nanoarchaeota, which stands for ‘dwarf archaea.’
Perhaps not terribly impressive, but it IS a new PHYLUM!
Read the rest of this article at GenomeNewsNetwork.org
November 2, 2006.GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Genetic analysis of an obscure, worm-like creature retrieved from the depths of the North Atlantic has led to the discovery of a new phylum, a rare event in an era when most organisms have already been grouped into major evolutionary categories.
Scientists have long been puzzled by the half-inch-long creature known by its scientific name of Xenoturbella and first retrieved from the Baltic Sea more than 50 years ago. Early genetic research identified it as a type of mollusk. But then scientists discovered the mollusk-like DNA actually resulted not from the creature itself, but from its close association to clams and likely habit of eating mollusk eggs, Moroz said. The Xenoturbella does not seem to have a brain, gut or gonads, making it unique among living animals.
More precise genomic sequencing at the Whitney Lab – where Moroz and his collaborators identified about 1,300 genes including mitochondrial genes – helped to reveal a surprise: Xenoturbella belongs to its own phylum, a broad class of organisms lying just below kingdom in taxonomic classification. It is one of only about 32 such phyla in the animal kingdom. “During the last 50 to 60 years, only a few new phyla have been established,” Moroz said.
Perhaps more significant, the analysis of Xenoturbella seems to confirm that human beings and other chordates share a common ancestor, a first in science. Its extreme characteristics suggest that this common ancestor – one the creature shares with its sister phyla, echinoderms and hemichordates, as well as chordates — did not have a brain or central nervous system.
Read this entire article at University of Florida News.
Find the BBC News release here.
Palaeos.com has a very good writeup on the Xenoturbella, with explanations of the historical and recent issues of classifying this little marvel .
Side note: When I first started this site, I thought about adding a category for “New Phylum”, but figured it wasn’t likely it would ever be used…. Seems that I needed to ‘free my imagination’! SO! I am thrilled to announce the addition of the new category!
January 29, 2007
From Original Article By
Earlier this month, amateur fisherman Haruo Kanbe stared out at sea in horror — a monster fish was swimming directly towards him. At first glance the creature snaking through the water looked like a giant eel. The cloudy eyes were especially striking. Triangular teeth flashed inside its open maw.
Normally, the prehistoric creatures dwell between 600 and 1,200 meters (between 1,969 and 3,937 feet) below the ocean surface. Until now, few people have had the opportunity to come face to face with a living specimen.
The frilled shark has hardly changed for 95 million years. That’s why it’s considered a “living fossil.” Unlike other types of shark that evolved later, the frilled shark has six gills on each side instead of five. The first pair of gills is coadunate with the underside of the neck; the protruding tissue gives the shark its name.
One of the creature’s most striking features is that both its upper and its lower jaw are equipped with fork-like, equi-sized teeth.The creature from the depths is one of the rarest fish in the world. Specimens occasionally show up in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. They feature on the Red List of Threatened Species compiled annually by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
Visit the Japanese Marine Park’s website to read the original press release and see more photos.
From Original Article by Ted Chamberlain, at NationalGeographic.com
February 22, 2007
In Antarctica’s Ross Sea, a fishing boat has caught what is likely the world’s biggest known colossal squid (yes, that’s the species’ name), New Zealand officials announced today.
Heavier than even giant squid, colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) have eyes as wide as dinner plates and sharp hooks on some of their suckers. The new specimen weighs in at an estimated 990 pounds (450 kilograms).
The sea monster had become entangled while feeding on Patagonian toothfish (toothfish photos) caught on long lines of hooks. The crew then maneuvered the squid into a net and painstakingly hauled it aboard—a two-hour process.
Article from: AdelaideNow
June 05, 2007 05:00pm
“SCIENTISTS say they have found two dozen new species in an expedition into a remote part of South America.
The Associated Press reported that an expedition by 13 scientists into the remote plateaus of eastern Suriname had turned up 24 new species, including a frog with fluorescent purple markings.
The expedition led by Conservation International discovered the species in 2005 in rainforests and swamps about 130 kilometers southeast of Paramaribo, the capital of the South American country bordering Brazil, Guyana and French Guiana.
Among the newly discovered species were the Atelopus frog, which has distinctive purple markings; six types of fish; 12 dung beetles, and one ant species… “
Above: Amazonian Snail-Eater Snake
*Note: Aquarium enthusiasts will be interested in the discovery of several suckermouth catfish- at least 3 new species- one of which has a particularly large mouth, and another that is fond of RED algae… not to mention the appearance of the Armored catfish, which was believed to be extinct.
The original article (above) from AdelaideNow includes several pictures.
The Conservation International website has the full pdf file of the R.A.P. report.
The ABC News website has more pics- also high res.
Telegraph.co.uk has more pics- including some not on the previous sites.
Mongabay.com has a great article with more information.
May 22, 2007
A native Indonesian fisherman reeled in a 4-foot, 110 pound mystery from the deep.
Yustinus Lahama captured the fish—which scientists not long ago believed had gone extinct with the dinosaurs—Saturday near Bunaken National Marine Park, off Sulawesi island.
Read the entire article by Christine DellAmore at National Geographic Online.
Furry lobster feels like felt,
and chirps like a cricket…mais
goûte toujours comme le poulet.
From ABC Science Online article
by Jacquie van Santen
A bizarre crustacean, tagged the ‘musical furry lobster’, has been found in Australian waters for the first time.
It’s so unusual, with a furry shell and the ability to chirp, that scientists have placed it in its own genus.
But the lobster was almost lost to science.
Rumour has it the French researchers who discovered the world’s first specimen in the 1980s didn’t realise its significance. So, they ate it for dinner.
Fortunately, the first one found in Australia is alive and well. It’s on display at Townsville’s Reef HQ aquarium, run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Canadian researchers have found a new species (and genus) of ichthyosaur—a type of fishlike reptile that lived between 250 and 90 million years ago.
They found it under a Ping-Pong table.
Researchers at Edmonton’s University of Alberta made the discovery when they came across a long-forgotten box of fossils in an undergraduate science lab.
Officially named Maiaspondylus lindoei, and dubbed the Ping Pong Ichthyosaur, the intrepid fossil-hunters are being pragmatic about the find:
“It was pretty amazing to realize this valuable discovery had sat under a ping pong table for 25 years,” said Dr. Michael Caldwell, paleontologist at the U of A. “But I suppose that after 100 millions of years in the dirt, it’s all relative.”
The bones belong to two juvenile ichthyosaurs, one slightly larger than the other, and two adults, one of which has two embryos preserved near its vertebrae.
The embryos found with the specimens are by far the newest known—80 million years more recent than the oldest previously known ichthyosaur embryos.
“What was really interesting was that at this point in history the Ichthyosaur goes extinct,” said Caldwell. “So anything from this time is going to be really important.”
Find the entire article at ScienceDaily.com
Find another article at NationalGeographic.com
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO (Reuters) – Scientists said on Monday they found two types of shark, exotic “flasher” fish and corals among 52 new species in seas off Indonesia, confirming the western Pacific as the richest marine habitat on earth.
They urged more protection for seas around the Bird’s Head peninsula at the western end of New Guinea island from threats including mining and dynamite fishing that can smash coral reefs.
“We feel very confident that this is the epicenter of marine biodiversity” in the world, said Mark Erdmann, a U.S. scientist at Conservation International who led two surveys this year.
The scientists found 24 new species of fish, including two types of epaulette shark, slim and spotty growing up to about 1.2 meters (4 ft) long. Among other finds were 20 new species of coral and eight previously unknown types of shrimp.
“It’s especially stunning to find sharks — these are higher level creatures, not bacteria or worms,” Erdmann told Reuters. The sharks get their name from markings on their sides like epaulettes — decorations on the shoulders of military uniforms.
The researchers also found new species of “flasher” wrasse fish. The males, which keep harems of several females, suddenly “flash” bright yellows, blues, pinks or other colors on their bodies, apparently as part of a mating ritual. [More from the Reuters article.]
Find a National Geographic article here.
VIDEO of the fin-walking shark and other species.
An article from Telegraph.co.uk with another picture
A teenage surfer in Australia noticed something sticking out of a boulder.
When researcher Erich Fitzgerald began studying the fossil, he soon realized it was an entirely new Family of whale species!
(Image: R Start/Museum Victoria)
From the article:
“Fitzgerald found that the fossil had specific features in the facial region and the base of the skull that marked it as a member of the baleen whale group, which today includes the enormous blue whale.
But unlike modern baleen whales, which eat by filtering tiny krill and plankton from water, the fossil whale had teeth. It also had enormous eyes.
He says it was impossible to fit the fossil whale into existing branches of the evolutionary tree based on its shape, size and characteristics.
“This is something completely new. This was an entirely new family, which is a rare occurrence.”
This new family of small, highly predatory, toothed baleen whales has been named in honour of the town of Jan Juc and its discoverer Staumn Hunder. It is called Janjucetus hunderi.
“…they were truly bizarre, and living in ways completely unlike any baleen whales that have existed over the past 20 million years.”
Find the entire article about these huge-eyed, fanged whales at News in Science.com.
From BBC News:
“A team of scientists has identified a new dolphin species – the first for at least 30 years – off north Australia.
The mammals – named snubfin dolphins – were initially thought to be members of the Irrawaddy species, also found in Australian waters.
But one researcher found the snubfins were coloured differently and had different skull, fin and flipper measurements to the Irrawaddys.
DNA tests confirmed that they were two distinct species.” Click here to read the full article at the BBC website.
Scientists find Yeti Crab!
An international team of marine biologists recently announced the discovery of Kiwa hirsuta, a ten-legged crustacean that resembles a lobster covered with what looks like silky, blond fur. Dubbed the “Yeti crab,” the species was discovered 900 hundred miles south of Easter Island in the South Pacific, living near a hydrothermal vent at an ocean depth of about 7,540 feet. The biologists were conducting a diving cruise to learn how geographical barriers affect the distribution of animals living near vents along the Pacific and Pacific-Antarctic Ridges.
A bizarre new species of jellyfish has been discovered in the deep waters off the Californian coast
The bell-shaped creature spans a metre in diameter and has been nicknamed “big red”, because of its unusual deep red colour. The US and Japanese teams that discovered it say the species deserves its own subfamily.
Tiburonia granrojo was discovered using video cameras on deep-diving remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Its colour and shape set it apart from its other gelatinous relatives, but it has another unusual characteristic — a complete lack of tentacles.
Instead, the jelly has four to seven fleshy arms that it uses to capture food. While jellyfish species normally can be distinguished by the number of tentacles they have, the number of arms differs between individual big reds.