HUNDREDS of New Species Found off Tasmania

25 November, 2008

From National Geographic.com:

7_australianewspecies_461
“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.”

—Photograph courtesy CSIRO

For more images, and to read the rest of the information available, visit National Geographic.


New dolphin species

23 November, 2008

From NewScientist.com:

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.


Several New Species Found in Guyana

11 August, 2008

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 (BBC)

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.”


Frog Without Lungs Found in Indonesia

10 April, 2008
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.


Found: 37,000! New Extremophile Marine Microbes

4 October, 2007

vent.jpg

Excerpt from
original article
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.


Found: Giant Lobster Species!

26 July, 2007
4kglobsters.jpgNovember 2006
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.

Found! 500 Species: “Extremophiles” and Living Fossils

26 July, 2007
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!

Find an excellent article with lots of info at EurekAlert.
Read another article at Times Online.

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jurassic-shrimp.jpg

“A “Jurassic” shrimp, Neoglyphea neocaledonica, believed extinct for 50 million years, found in the Coral Sea. Credit: B. Richer de Forges ©2006″

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jellyfish.jpg

“Antarctic Jellyfish: this species was filmed in Antarctic waters that have been kept in darkness for thousands of years by thick ice cover. …”

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mar-ecosquid.jpg

A new species of squid, Promachoteuthis sloani, found along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Credit: MAR-ECO/R. Young”

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