Reef search turns up hundreds of new species

2019-04-03 14:07:10

By Michael Marshall (Image: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum) Watch a slideshow of the species found Researchers exploring two islands just off the Great Barrier Reef, and a reef off northwestern Australia, were surprised to find hundreds of new animal species. They spotted about 300 soft coral species, up to half of which they think are new to science, as well as dozens of small crustacean species, likewise thought to be unknown. The expeditions included the first systematic survey of soft corals. They were affiliated with the Census of Marine Life – a 10-year project that aims to survey all the species in the Earth’s oceans. The researchers surveyed Lizard and Heron Islands, both of which are part of the Great Barrier Reef, and Ningaloo Reef off northwestern Australia. Watch a slideshow of the species found Mysteries of the Deep Sea – The deep sea is one of the harshest habitats on Earth, but is home to many remarkable creatures. Learn more in our comprehensive special report. More on these topics: