28 Sep '12, 6am

Ocean Expedition Uncovers a Million New Species

Ocean Expedition Uncovers a Million New Species

After centuries of scientific study across the Earth's numerous vast and varied ecosystems, it might seem that there would be little left to discover in terms of biological diversity -- but, as a recent expedition studying life in the world's oceans proves, we may have only really scratched the surface. For two and half years, the crew of the French vessel Tara surveyed the ocean depths for new lifeforms, and boy did they find plenty. According to researchers, their exploration yielded a more than a million preciously undiscovered aquatic species -- ranging from several new types of fish and squid, to a multitude of microscopic organisms, like plankton. Previously, scientists believed there to be around 500 thousands species of plankton, organisms responsible for producing most of the planet's oxygen; thanks to this study, that number has doubled. While the new discoveries...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/ocean-conservation/ocean-expedi...

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