4 Cool Findings from the Census - Oceana USA
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November 10, 2008

4 Cool Findings from the Census

Tomorrow begins a gathering of researchers in Valencia, Spain for the fourth update of the first Census of Marine Life. The results were released this weekend — so what’s new? 1. It turns out that many deep-sea octopuses evolved from a common ancestor, whose closest living relative still exists in the Southern Ocean. 2. The Mid-Atlantic ridge includes the world’s deepest known active hot vent, more than 13,300 feet (4,100 meters) deep and populated by anemones, worms and shrimp. 3. The deepest comb jellyfish ever found was discovered at a depth of 23,455 feet (7,217 meters) in the Ryukyu Trench near Japan. Scientists are scratching their heads — how does it survive so far down?4. Researchers have discovered a “brittle star city” off the coast of New Zealand. The brittle stars have colonized the peak of a seamount, where the current delivers such an easy food supply that thousands of stars can capture food simply by raising their arms. Sweet life, huh?More than 2,000 scientists from 82 nations are taking part in the project, which is to be completed in 2010.[Image: Deep-sea octopuses and closest relative of common ancestor (clockwise from top left): Pareledone charcoti (image: L.Allcock); Thaumeledone gunteri (image: I.Everson); Adelieledone polymoprha (image: L.Allcock); closest relative Megaleledone setebos (image: M.Rauschert). ]