With stories about the world’s oceans being depleted of their biodiversity, it comes as great comfort to hear things like this: Scientists working on the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) have announced today (March 12, 2015) that they have, over the last year, discovered, recorded, and classified almost 1,500 new marine species. That’s four newly discovered species added to list every day. Pretty cool.
From the WoRMS website: “Based at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Belgium, WoRMS is a collaborative scientific triumph. It is used worldwide as the authoritative taxonomic reference list of all marine species. The further development and maintenance of the register is mainly funded by LifeWatch, the European e-infrastructure for biodiversity research.”
That’s all quite nice, but I thought it would be fun to get acquainted with a few of these new species. After all, if we’re going to be neighbors on this great big blue marble, then we’d better get to know each other. Here are some of the most interesting of the new critters:
The Stargazer Shrimp
Found during daytime at 6-10 m depth on rocky reef walls mainly overgrown by sponges, this gorgeous guy is always seen solitary, settled, not swimming unless disturbed.
The Phoronis Emigi Horseshoe Worm
The specific name, a masculine noun in the genitive case, is in honor of the French researcher Dr. Christian C. Emig.
Australian Box Jellies
Two new species of box jellies from the central coast of Western Australia, both presumed to cause Irukandji syndrome.
Brazilian River Dolphin
This previously undiscovered species of river dolphin from Brazil tells us how little we know our biodiversity.
The suggested common name is the Australian humpback dolphin, which refers to the main area of its known range, and the source of virtually all information available on this species to date.
Salmo kottelati, a new species of trout from Alakır Stream, a tributary draining to the Mediterranean in southern Anatolia, Turkey.
Southern Frilled Shark
A new species of frilled shark from southern Africa.
This bizarre looking fellow is a new species of frogfish of the genus Histiophryne (Lophiiformes: Antennariidae) from Ambon and Bali, Indonesia.
A potential new species of barracuda identified from the central Mediterranean Sea.
Sources: marinespecies.org | firstpost.com | lifewatch.be