Unique Animal Species Discovered In Indian Ocean

Posted: Dec 16 2016, 9:49am CST | by , Updated: Dec 16 2016, 10:06am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Six New Deep-Sea Creatures Discovered in Indian Ocean
The stalked barnacle Neolepas sp. collected from Longqi. Credit: David Shale / University of Southampton
  • Six New Deep-Sea Creatures Discovered in Indian Ocean
  • Hairy Crab and 5 Other New Marine Animal Species Found
 

Researchers have found half a dozen novel marine animal species beneath the Indian Ocean. This has been a source of pride for these marine biologists.

Scientists found hairy-chested crabs and monster slugs deep down in the Indian Ocean. These marine animals were thriving near the thermal vents on the ocean floor.

The experts literally chanced upon this rare find. They were surveying an area that was quite large. The depths they had reached were 1.7 miles below the surface of the Indian Ocean.

These researchers employed remote-controlled vehicles. The team of experts found a novel species of Hoff crab, two new snails, a limpet and two species of worms. 

It is obvious from observations that some of these new species also live in other spots along the Southwest Indian Ocean. It is highly likely that they have migrated from other areas.

However, at present no one knows exactly where they came from. Also the community of creatures from which the stock of new species arose is an unknown factor in the research. There is a need to explore other areas in the Southwest Indian Ocean. 

The connections of all these species and the food webs they form will have to be gone into in detail. Otherwise any mining for minerals in the Indian Ocean will have to be put off for now.

The hydrothermal vents are 1243 miles southeast of Madagascar. Termed the Longqui vents, the term means “Dragon Breath”. A large portion of these species have been exposed to human beings for the first time.

Since the 70s, exploration into hydrothermal vents has been extant. Over 250 active vents have been discovered. Also over 400 new species have been identified that live in the vicinity of these vents. 

 Around the turn of the millennium, a group began exploring this area beneath the Indian Ocean. They scoured the ocean floor for 22 hours. Over 12 vent chimneys were found by the team.

The vent chimneys are also rich in copper and gold. Yet the presence of these rare and novel marine species does not allow for any plans of mining these vents for the minerals.

The species which are precious and rare must be preserved at all costs even if that means losing out in the greed for copper and gold deposits.  

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