Latest In Marine Discoveries

Latest In Marine Discoveries! Marine Researchers Uncover 100 New Species In The Unexplored Waters Of New Zealand

While only  5% of ocean life is known to man, over two million species are speculated to exist there. Marine scientists have found 100 new marine species. The discoveries were made in the unexplored seas of the Bounty Trough near the coast of South Island, New Zealand. The group, comprising twenty-one researchers, conducted a trip in February. The latest in marine discoveries will aid marine scientists in having a better understanding of underwater life. 

The voyage was a collaboration among institutions like the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand and OceanCensus were also involved. On board the Tangaroa, the researchers conducted a comprehensive scanning of the 800-kilometer-long Bounty Trough during the three-week expedition. The Tangaroa research vessel is owned by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in the nation.

From an underwater depth of around five kilometers, the crew obtained 1,800 samples. The area of the ocean east of the South Island in New Zealand has not received much attention. Marine biologist Dr. Alex Rogers pointed out that because of its depth, fisheries aren’t very interested in the Bounty Trough. This, in turn, led to little sampling. 

Latest In Marine Discoveries: Unknown Star-Shaped Organism

Numerous mollusks, three fish, a shrimp, and a squid were among the latest in marine discoveries. Dr. Rogers predicts that the numbers will increase as more samples are processed. The latest in marine discoveries also included a centimeter-long, star-shaped creature that has not yet been recognized. 

One discovery has baffled the experts on the team. Initially, they believed it to be a kind of sea star or sea anemone. Dr. Michela Mitchell is a taxonomist with the Queensland Museum Network. She claimed that it could be an octocoral, a kind of deep-sea coral. There is a possibility that it is a separate group distinct from the octocoral. Dr. Daniel Moore, the scientific manager of the nonprofit Ocean Census, said that the star-shaped creature is still unidentified. It is intriguing because it is undetermined where it fits in the hierarchy of marine creatures. The latest in marine discoveries are crucial for understanding the unique biodiversity of the deep oceans.

Research Equipment Used

The ship pulled three different kinds of sleds, depending on the terrain, to gather the samples. It included an underwater camera that was towed along with a sturdy seamount sled for stony surfaces. There was a conventional beam trawl that trailed a net to gather samples. Other than these, another apparatus that sampled the water close to the bottom was used.

Researchers first mapped the region using an imaging system and video cameras. It was to determine the safety of their equipment. The purpose was also to confirm that there are no susceptible animal communities in the area that may be impacted. They then used the Brenke sled and a sample tool with two nets. Of the two, one was placed close to the seafloor and the other about a meter above it. 

There are still enormous gaps in our understanding of the ocean’s depths. Scientists have described only 240,000 out of the 2.2 million species in Earth’s seas, as per the Ocean Census. Researchers are currently analyzing collected samples and categorizing recently discovered species to unravel the secrets of the deep sea.

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