Marine Researchers Uncover 100 Potential New Species, Including Enigmatic Starlike Creature

Marine Species
Image Credits: NIWA

Marine researchers embarked on a mission to record the life hidden in the world’s vast oceans. They have found almost 100 new species — including a mystery starlike creature.

The expedition team has focused its investigation on the 500-mile Bounty Trough, a less-explored ocean area off the New Zealand coast to the east of the South Island. In February of this year, the scientists took a three-week expedition on the Tangaroa, a research vessel owned by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

The team gathered close to 1,800 samples from the deeps, as far down as three miles, finding the species of mollusks, fishes, squids, and corals they believe are new to science. There is this big area off New Zealand’s east coast where there is a paucity of data points, according to Dr.


Video Credits: NIWA/Twitter

Daniel Moore, expedition science manager for Ocean Census, a new collaboration launched in April 2023 with the goal of identifying 100,000 unknown species over the next decade. It was a true exploration and incredibly exciting.

A team of experienced scientists will sort and describe the deep-sea finds for three weeks to confirm if they are the newfound species. The team’s scientists were utterly confused by a find they considered a form of sea anemone or a sea star.

Researchers
Image Credits: NIWA

Dr. Michela Mitchell, an established taxonomist working with the Queensland Museum Network, stated in a statement by Ocean Census that it could be a particular kind of deep-sea coral classified as an octocoral. More particularly, it might represent a new group beyond the octocoral.

If that’s the case, it’s a remarkable discovery for the deep sea and sheds more light on the region’s unique biodiversity, she said. Moore mentioned being pleasantly surprised that the team came across a brand-new fish species—the eelpout—that was recognized instantly as distinct from the others.

Coral
Image Credits: NIWA

Discovering new vertebrates is rare. We are still unaware of thousands of invertebrates in the sea. Vertebrates: Humans like to assume they’re aware of what’s out there; however, he explained that they don’t. To gather samples, the vessel towed three different kinds of sleds based on the terrain.

These included a conventional beam trawl, which towed a net to gather samples, a heavy-duty seamount sled for the rocky surfaces, another device that sampled the water above the seafloor, and a towed underwater camera. Huge gaps continue to exist in scientific knowledge of ocean depths. According to the Ocean Census, of the 2.2 million species believed to be in the Earth’s oceans, 240,000 have been described by scientists.

Reference: CNN

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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