New Ocean Zone Discovered In Bermuda With 100 New Marine Species

Posted: May 9 2018, 8:00am CDT | by , Updated: May 9 2018, 9:08am CDT , in Latest Science News

New Ocean Zone Discovered in Bermuda with 100 New Marine Species

Over a 100 New Marine Species Discovered in the Vicinity of the Bermuda Coast Confirm a New Zone in Ocean called Rariphotic Zone

The conclusion of a recent survey shows that a novel oceanic zone exists off the Bermuda coastline. Termed the Rare Light Zone, it is 130 meters to 300 meters in its dimensions. It happens to occupy the top 3000 meters of the ocean waves.

Various flora and fauna exist along this axis at different levels of it. These include the Altiphotic (0 meters to 40 meters), the Mesophotic (40 meters to 130 meters), the Rariphotic (130 meters to 300 meters), and the Bathyal Zone (300 meters to 3000 metres).

Alex Rogers, Scientific Director of the Nekton Oxford Deep Ocean Research Institute (‘Nekton’) and Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Oxford, said, “If life in the shallower regions of the deep sea is so poorly documented it undermines confidence in our existing understanding of how the patterns of life change with depth.”

The standard study of life forms will be challenged by the results of this new research work. The earlier study was not executed on an in-depth basis. This newer one though has all the makings of an extensive and intensive research project that reflects the biodiversity in all its manifold aspects.

The fact is that all this variegated sea life exists just 15 miles off the coastal region that constitutes the Bermuda Islands. Among other things, twisted wire corals and sea fans lie in this area. Also, sea urchins, green moray eels, yellow hermit crabs and various other fauna are thriving in this locus.

They exist on a diet of zooplankton and algae. These dietary ingredients originally grow on the summit and ultimately settle on the seabed. A 100 new species have been unearthed from this rich source of life and consciousness.

These range from the tanaids all the way to many novel algae types. Then there is the black wire coral. At least 13 types of crustaceans have also been spotted in close proximity to this bonanza of living beings.

The biogeographical link between the Bermuda coastline and the Indo-Pacific region can be deducted from a close study of this discovery of life forms.

“Considering the Bermuda waters have been comparatively well studied for many decades, we certainly weren’t expecting such a large number and diversity of new species,” explains Professor Rogers. “These discoveries are evidence of how little we know and how important it is to document this unknown frontier to ensure that its future is protected.”

The research work on all this is future-centric in its nature. It aims to preserve this treasure trove of biodiversity for the sake of both the planet and its inhabitants.

The first peer-reviewed scientific papers about this new research have been published, while the synthesis of the results from the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey is said to be published in September 2018. It is expected that at least 20 scientific papers will be published in total.

CEO of XL Bermuda Ltd/Insurance, Patrick Tannock, who chairs XL Catlin’s philanthropic XL Foundation which funded the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey, says: “As a future-focused, innovative insurance and reinsurance company, we at XL Catlin believe that preparing for emerging and unknown risks is imperative. Given that there is still much to be learned about how changes to the ocean will impact businesses, communities, and society in the future, we are extremely interested in the findings from the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey and look forward to receiving the published report of the amalgamated results and scientific papers.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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