Thursday, September 21, 2006

Researchers Find Underwater Lost World

Two recent expeditions off the coast of Indonesia have revealed a remarkable "lost world" of marine species that researchers believe are new to science, including a shark that "walks" on its fins.

"It was extraordinary," said Roger McManus of Conservation International, which conducted the expeditions along with the Indonesian government. "These expeditions uncovered what we believe are almost 60 new species to science."

Approximately 217,000 animals have been identified in the world's oceans, according to the Census of Marine Life — a 10-year, 70-nation effort to inventory the planet's undersea biodiversity that will be complete in 2010.

"Big surprises remain under our noses," said Census of Marine Life program director Jesse Ausubel in an email to ABC News. "Some experts believe 2 million marine animals remain to be identified."
I have called for a Species Cenusus before and applaued the Census of Marine Life project. But, if there are 2 million marine animals, only 217,000 found and less than 5 years to go on the project, they better start hustling.

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