Crucible Of Marine Life Explored - New Species Found
A joint team of Filipino and American scientists that explored the Celebes Sea in southern Philippines early this month, announced the marine-life discoveries following their return from their voyage Tuesday.
This area of the Pacific Ocean, which is commonly referred to as the “Coral Triangle” (a region bordered by the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia), is suspected to be the crucible of marine life here on the Oblate Spheroid.
In this photo, a sample of zooplankton collected with a Tucker Trawl with a 10mm opening wherein one can find jellyfish, a lanternfish, a snipe eel, two orange shrimp, a pyrosome (which is bioluminescent) as shown at a briefing Tuesday Oct. 16, 2007 aboard the Philippine research vessel BRP Prisbitero off Manila Bay in Manila, Philippines. Image Credit: AP Photo/WHOI/ISSP, Larry Madin HO
Scientists have long recognized this area as having a high degree of biological diversity.
The deepest part of the Celebes Sea is 16,500 feet. The team was able to explore and catalog marine life to a depth of about 9,100 feet using a remotely operated camera.
This excerpted from AP via YAHOO! NEWS -
Scientists discover rare marine species
By OLIVER TEVES, Associated Press Writer (MANILA, Philippines) - Tue Oct 16, 7:36 PM ET
Scientists exploring a deep ocean basin in search of species isolated for millions of years found marine life believed to be previously undiscovered, including a tentacled orange worm and an unusual black jellyfish.
Project leader Dr. Larry Madin said Tuesday that U.S. and Philippine scientists collected about 100 different specimens in a search in the Celebes Sea south of the Philippines.
"This [The Coral Triangle] is probably the center where many of the species evolved and spread to other parts of the ocean, so it's going back to the source in many ways," Madin told a group of journalists, government officials, students and U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney and her staff.
In this photo, a jellyfish (Aequorea sp) collected by divers in the surface waters of the Celebes Sea in southern Philippines. A joint team of Filipino and American scientists that explored the Celebes Sea in southern Philippines early this month, announced the marine-life discoveries following their return from their voyage Tuesday. Image Credit: AP Photo/Ocean Geographic Magazine through WHOI/ISSP, Michael Aw, HO
The project involved the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and National Geographic Magazine in cooperation with the Philippine government, which also provided the exploration ship.
The expedition was made up of more than two dozen scientists and a group from National Geographic, including Emory Kristof, the underwater photographer who was part of the team that found the wreckage of the Titanic in 1985.
Madin said the specimens they collected included several possibly newly discovered species. One was a sea cucumber that is nearly transparent which could swim by bending its elongated body. Another was a black jellyfish found near the sea floor.
The most striking creature found was a spiny orange-colored worm that had 10 tentacles like a squid, Madin said. "We don't know what it is ... it might be something new," he said.
Madin said the Celebes Sea, being surrounded by islands and shallow reefs, is partially isolated now and may have been more isolated millions of years ago, leading scientists to believe that "there may be groups of organisms that have been contained and kept within" the basin since then.
"That makes it an interesting place to go and look to see what we might find," he said.