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Scientists have discovered 30 potential new species on the ocean floor

Scientists at Britain’s Natural History Museum have discovered 30 potential new species of sea creatures while surveying the ocean depths. A team of researchers from Britain’s Natural History Museum has identified 30 potentially new species by using a remote-controlled vehicle to collect specimens. The scientists studied the abyssal plains of the Clarion-Clipperton zone in the
Published: July 31, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 01:06
Scientists have discovered 30 potential new species on the ocean floor

Scientists at Britain’s Natural History Museum have discovered 30 potential new species of sea creatures while surveying the ocean depths.

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A team of researchers from Britain’s Natural History Museum has identified 30 potentially new species by using a remote-controlled vehicle to collect specimens. The scientists studied the abyssal plains of the Clarion-Clipperton zone in the central Pacific. Previously, the area’s creatures had only been studied by scientists based on photographs taken.

robot to explore ocean depths

30 potential new species from the ocean depths

The team published the results of their research in the journal Zookeys. In their conclusions, the researchers showed that there is a high species diversity of larger organisms in the study area. Of the 55 specimens the researchers obtained, as many as 48 belonged to different species.

This research is important not only because of the number of potentially new species discovered. Also because these megafauna specimens have previously been studied only from photographs of the seafloor. Without the specimens and the DNA data they hold, we cannot properly identify the animals and understand how many different species there are said Dr. Guadalupe Bribiesca-Contreras, lead author of the study.

One of the newly discovered specimens

Among the 30 potential new animal species were segmented worms, invertebrates, animals from the same family as jellyfish, and various types of coral. The 36 specimens were found at depths of more than 4,800 meters. Two were collected on the slope of a seamount at a depth of 4125 meters, and 17 at depths between 3095 and 3562 meters.

We know that millimeter-sized animals called macrofauna are extremely biodiverse in the abyss. But we’ve never really had much information on the larger animals we call megafauna. All because so few samples have been collected. This study is the first to suggest that diversity may be very high in these groups as well said Dr. Adrian Glover, head of the Natural History Museum’s research group.

Potential threat

The research that has been carried out reveals only a fraction of what lies hidden in the oceanic depths. What is important, however, is that there is a great, great deal left to explore. The picture emerging from the depths shows that we need to take special care of this patch of our planet. Especially now that deep-sea mining is growing faster and faster, which could seriously affect this take an undiscovered piece of the world.

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About author

Julia
My love for scuba diving started as a 12-year-old in the Canary Islands, at which time I took my first Open Water Diver course. This love for the blue turned into a huge passion that accompanies me to this day. Although blue is hard to come by in the Baltic, no conditions are terrible for me. In this sport, I find peace, patience, courage, focus, and balance. I have recently started to engage in underwater modeling and I am fulfilled with this.
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