Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Species Found in Australian Waters

As reported in www.newscientist.com on September 19, 2008, hundreds of new animal species have apparently been found by Lizard and Heron Islands, part of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and at Ningaloo Reef, off the coast of northwest Australia. It is thought that up to ½ of the 300 soft corals and that dozens of small crustacean species may be new to science.

Pictures of the “new” species include: sea slugs (which lost their shells many years ago); sea urchins (which are related to starfish and brittle stars); soft branched corals, which have eight tentacles and contrasting colors; snapping shrimp with asymmetrical claws which produce a loud noise which can kill small fish; a type of green algae, single celled with many nuclei, which are one of the largest single cell organisms known to science; and fan worms with big extended heads, serving as gills, which increase the surface area and therefore increases the absorption of oxygen.

Here is the link to photos: http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/av/dn14755V1/dn14755V1.html

Cynthia Neuwalder

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