Rare Lobster Found in Maine

14 July, 2006

The lobster caught by Alan Robinson in Dyer’s Bay is a typical mottled green on one side; the other is a shade of orange that looks cooked.

Robinson, of Steuben, donated the lobster to the Mount Desert Oceanarium. Staff members say the odds or finding a half-and-half lobster are 1 in 50 million to 100 million. By comparison, the odds of finding a blue lobster are about 1 in a million.

Bette Spurling, who works at the oceanarium, said lobster shells are usually a blend of the three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. Those colors mix to form the greenish-brown color of most lobsters. This lobster, though, has no blue in half of its shell, she said.

Read the full article at Red Orbit…

Bizarre and Beautiful Lifeforms Found in Bermuda Triangle

10 July, 2006

Rich Gallery of Deep-Sea Life Discovered in Bermuda Triangle
By Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Managing Editor
04 May 2006
11:01 am ET

The quantity and diversity of tiny creatures found in a deep-sea survey in the Bermuda Triangle region of the Atlantic Ocean is amazing scientists.

During a 20-day cruise last month, researchers used trawling nets and scuba divers to explore down to 3 miles beneath the ocean surface. Previous studies of small ocean creatures focused only on the top half-mile or so.

Several of the animals—tiny zooplankton, shrimp-like things, little squid, bizarre worms and pulsing jellyfish—are featured in a new image gallery. SEE THE IMAGES

Among more than 1,000 different organisms collected, the project found “what appear to be several undescribed species that may well prove new to science,” said the cruise’s scientific leader Peter Wiebe of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

View many more photos and full article at LiveScience.com

Ocean Reefs in Waters off of Washington State

10 July, 2006

Surprising Beauty Discovered on Pacific Seafloor

By LiveScience Staff

26 June 2006

07:02 pm ET

“When you think of bright coral and colorful fish, you might conjure images of Hawaii or the Caribbean. If so, a newfound bed of deep-sea corals and other animal life found off the coast of Washington state will likely surprise you.

Researchers said an earlier survey had led them to suspect they might find a rich, unexplored ecosystem in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Today the NOAA-led project released several photographs returned by a remotely operated vehicle from 300 to 2,000 feet down. Among the most dramatic:

  • A red gorgonian coral branch supporting attachments of a whitish basket star, crinoids and several shark egg cases.
  • A brightly-colored sharpchin rockfish, possibly pregnant, resting next to a gorgonian soft coral tentatively identified as a Paragorgia species.
  • An incredibly delicate-looking, lone gorgonian soft coral tentatively identified as an Umbellula species.
  • Bright orange rosethorn and redbanded rockfish adjacent to the reef-building coral Lophelia pertusa and a giant cup coral.”

More full sized photos and the full article at LiveScience.com

EurekAlert has an article about Washington waters being one of only two places in the world where Glass Sponge reefs have been found.

Brazil Yields Several New Species, and Surprises!

6 July, 2006

Scientists on a WWF expedition discovered two new frog, fish and bird species, one tree species and one primate.

“These are exciting discoveries,” said Claudio Maretti, WWF-Brazil’s Coordinator for Protected Areas.

“But to confirm that the species are really new to science we have to carry out a series of tests,” he cautioned. “This will be done as soon as the expedition comes to a close.”

In addition to these potentially new scientific discoveries, experts on the expedition came across 200 species of birds, ocelots (wild cats), and a pink dolphin.

Original full length article here…

Read expedition logs and other articles from the expedition at the WWF homepage for the Juruena National Park.

Species (genus?) of Sponge Discovered (2002)

5 July, 2006

NOAA Log entry August 26, 2002

by Dr. Shirley Pomponi

“[...] A few days ago, on a dive just 90 miles off the coast of Charleston, SC, one of our explorers brought up from his sub dive two small brown animals, shaped like Christmas trees. We guessed it was either a sponge or an ascidian (sea squirt), and when we dissected it, we discovered that it was a sponge. On the next dive, I was anxious to find more. (Oh, by now you’ve probably guessed that I’m partial to sponges.) It wasn’t hard to do: we came across a field of literally thousands and thousands of them, growing on small rocks, 600 feet deep. I’ve been diving in the sub for nearly 18 years, and I’ve seen hundreds of different sponges, but I had never seen a sponge like this! When we got to the surface, I examined it microscopically and decided that it was a new species—and possibly even a new genus. …”

complete log entry here.

Eight Unknown Species Found in Cave

28 June, 2006

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Unknown creatures found in cave

Unknown creatures found in cave

Eight previously unknown invertebrate creatures have been discovered in a cave in central Israel.The largest is a white shrimp-like crustacean. Another resembles a species of scorpion and is blind.

The cave, near the city of Ramle, contains a lake and was uncovered during drilling at a quarry.

Scientists say it is a unique ecosystem that has been sealed off from the rest of the world for five million years and could contain other ancient lifeforms.


An excellent article is at the Boston Globe, including details of the discovery of the cave by a teenage spelunker, descriptions of the animals, and other details- like the importance of the role played by the chalk walls of the cave.

National Geographic’s article.


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