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Scientists find 30 potential new species on the ocean floor | oceans

Humanity has managed to explore most of the surface of the world, classifying almost all existing species, but the depths of the seas remain a mystery.

However, we may soon understand more about the depths of the ocean than ever before as scientists have been able to discover fine specimens of species unknown to science using robot technology.

Scientists from Natural History Museum They discovered more than 30 potential new species living on the sea floor, in an area where only a small amount of biogeographical information has been discovered so far.

Most of the animals that live at the bottom of the ocean remain undisturbed by humans as it is difficult to access them to study their DNA.

Researchers have collected new species from the abyssal plains in the Clarion-Clipperton region in the central Pacific using a remotely operated vehicle. This allowed samples to be brought to the surface, enabling scientists to get a much better idea of ​​what organisms live on the ocean floor. Previously, the organisms of this region were studied only by photographs.

Remarkably, among the 55 recovered samples, 48 ​​were different species. Living things among themselves represent a small part of the undiscovered species found in the depths of the ocean, which scientists are working to understand.

This finding potentially has very important implications for deep sea miningas humans became more interested in exploiting minerals from the sea floor.

The biodiversity of the sea floor remains a great mystery to science, as many organisms found on the sea floor have not been studied. But the activity seems to have the potential to disturb many creatures. Many of the animals found during exploration are marine invertebrates and coral species – although many might imagine the deep, dark seas to be somewhat barren, evidence suggests they are highly biodiverse.

Psychropotes verrucicaudatus, newly discovered using robot technology.
Psychropotes verrucicaudatusIt was newly discovered using robot technology. Photo: Courtesy of Mission DeepCCZ / Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation & NOAA

the study, Published in Zookeysfound that there is a great diversity of species from the larger organisms in the abyss.

The discovery shows that diversity is also high in large seabed species, which were previously unknown. There can be many species that can be found just by studying DNA.

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Lead author of the study, Dr Guadalupe Prebisca Contreras from the Museum of Natural History, said: “This research is important not only because of the number of potential new species that have been discovered, but because these massive animal specimens have only been studied previously from images of the sea floor.

“Without the samples and the DNA data they contain, we cannot correctly identify the animals and understand how many different species there are.”

The area in which the species is found varies geographically, so there can be many different types of animals living in the nooks and crannies under the ocean.

Vitria Peniagone on site.
Benignon Vitria On site. Photo: Courtesy of Mission DeepCCZ / Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation & NOAA

This species is found in a very deep part of the ocean, with 36 specimens found at a depth of more than 4800 m, two samples were collected on a mountain slope at a depth of 4125 m, and 17 samples between 3095 and 3562 m.

The animals found include segmented worms, invertebrates of the same family of centipedes, marine animals of the same family of jellyfish and various types of coral.

Merit researcher Dr Adrian Glover, who leads the Natural History Museum’s deep-sea research group, added: “We know that tiny millimeter-sized animals called macrofauna are highly biodiverse in the cliff.

“However, we didn’t actually have much information on the large animals that we call megafauna, since so few samples were collected. This study is the first to suggest that diversity may be very high in these groups as well.”

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