Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Marine census discovers more than 200 new species

Scientists have discovered more than 200 new marine species, including giant sea stars, during work on the first global marine-life census. They have also documented novel fish behaviours, such as the deep-sea diving habits of the great white shark, and have revealed new ocean habitats. Work began in 2000, and will not be complete until 2010. But the findings so far from the 2,000-strong international marine-scientist team will be released at the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Valencia, Spain on 11-15 November. The census aims to map the distribution, diversity and abundance of marine species, including a complete list of up to 250,000 named species. It also aims to provide a fresh estimate of the number of species yet to be discovered, for which current estimates vary widely from 500,000 to several million. It will provide global traffic patterns of common marine species, and document DNA barcodes to identify many species. Full Article... Census of Marine Life website

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