Scientists Find Previously Unknown Sea Creatures

Scientists Find Previously Unknown Sea Creatures

Reporter: In deep icy waters beneath Antartica, scientists found bulbous tunicates and colonies of newly discovered creatures believed to be related to starfish and other marine life. Elsewhere in the world’s oceans, they have recently discovered a new species of blind lobster, giant bacteria and a variety of underwater life forms new to science. It’s all part of a research effort called the Census of Marine Life.

Man 1: There are about 2000 scientists worldwide involved. Just about every country is involved in some way. It started in 2000 and will go until 2010.
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Reporter: Bob Gogoshian of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C helps manage the project.

Man 1: Everywhere they’ve gone they’ve found new things because basically the ocean is from the point of view of marine organisms.

Reporter: Researchers have placed small markers on hundreds of fish and marine animals to track by satellite migration routes and to discover places where seas life congregates.
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According to Ron O’Dorr, a senior scientist with the Census for Marine Life, knowledge of life on the ocean floor is especially limited.

Man 2: Ninety percent of all the information we have is from the top 100 meters of the ocean.

Reporter: He also says the sea floor is on average at a depth of 4,000 meters. As submersibles and robotic devices dive far below what people have previously see, scientists are scientists are discovering bizarre species of plants, animals, and organisms thriving near percolating hot ocean vents on the ocean floor.

Since the Census project began, more than 5300 new marine animals have been found. Ocean researchers say that they hope to catalog 230,000 species during the Census, which some say is only a fraction of all the creatures living in the sea.

Paul Cisco, VOA News.