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Three New Species Found in Aleutians

Posted By G Living Staff Monkies On December 2, 2007 @ 5:38 pm In Nature / Non Human Stories | No Comments

“Mysterious creatures found lurking under the islands of the Aleutians…” Sounds like the beginning to “Underworld”, doesn’t it? But the follow up is far from Likens or Vampires. What have been discovered by a team of scientific divers are three new types of marine organisms.

Two new forms of sea anemones were discovered swimming along the ocean floor in search of food. While most anemones latch onto the ocean’s bottom, the swimming kind can detach and moved along with the currents. The size of the newly found anemones ranged from softball to basketball. (Those are some BIG anemones. I’d almost rather come across a vampire.)

The third type of organism found was a new form of Kelp. It has been named Golden V Kelp or Aureophycus aleuticus. (I’ll stick with Golden V.) Mandy Lindeberg, an algae expert with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service states that the kelp may represent a new family of the seaweed. Golden V was about 10 feet long and was found growing near the thermal vents in the region surrounding the dive.

Stephen Jewett, a professor of marine biology and the dive leader on the expedition, stated that “since the underwater world of the Aleutian Islands has been studied so little, new species are being discovered, even today.”

The dives were part of a health assessment of the Aleutian Islands and were sponsored by the Alaska Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, AKMAP. The program is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The samples from the dive are being used to check the biodiversity in the region as well as checking the water quality for potential contaminates such as radioactive materials left over from underwater nuclear tests conducted at Amchitka Island between 1965 and 1971.

Nice to know something wonderful (like the discovery of new species) can come from something catastrophic.

via Science Daily

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