Astonishing Array of Creatures Found on ‘Barren’ Ocean Floor

     Scientists have discovered thousands of animal species living in an area on the planet previously thought devoid of life–the ocean floor.   Through a decade-long Census of Marine Life, research scientists from around the world have learned that the deepest parts of the oceans, places where sunlight never penetrates, are teeming with diverse animal life. 

      Revealed through the use of submersible vehicles, deep-towed cameras, sonar, and other vanguard technologies, newly discovered animals thriving in the frigid, watery darkness range from crabs to shrimp to worms.

     “It’s quite amazing to have documented close to 20,000 forms of life in a zone that was thought to be barren,” environmental scientist Jesse Ausubel told Discover magazine.  “The deep sea is the least explored environment on earth.”

     The ‘new’ species include several species of gelatinous, eight-tentacled creatures that swim by flapping a pair of ear-like fins.  A tubeworm was found eating chemicals from decomposing oil.  When scientists extracted it from a hole in the sea floor, crude oil gushed out.

     Thanks to photographic advances, we can see what many of these strange and fantastic creatures look like.  Just click on the link below to view photos of  some of the ocean creatures  recently discovered as a result of the Census on Marine Life:

http://www.coml.org/imagegallery/

     THE WEEK, 12/11/09 is the source for much of the above information.–April Moore

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3 Responses to “Astonishing Array of Creatures Found on ‘Barren’ Ocean Floor”

  1. Jim Z. Says:

    Great description and photos (at the URL shown)!

  2. Todd Waymon Says:

    What beautiful creatures Mother Nature and Evolution has fashioned! Amazing! Happy holidays!

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