Researchers: 'Lost World' Discovered Around Antarctic Vents
by Underwatertimes.com News Service - January 4, 2012
OXFORD, United Kingdom -- Communities of species previously unknown to science have been discovered on the seafloor near Antarctica, clustered in the hot, dark environment surrounding hydrothermal vents.The discoveries, made by teams led by the University of Oxford, University of Southampton and British Antarctic Survey, include new species of yeti crab, starfish, barnacles, sea anemones, and potentially an octopus.
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'The Hoff' crab is new ocean find
Jonathan Amos By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News
UK scientists have found prodigious numbers of a new crab species on the Southern Ocean floor that they have dubbed "The Hoff" because of its hairy chest. The animal was discovered living around volcanic vents off South Georgia. Great piles of the crabs were seen to come together. The creature has still to be formally classified, hence the humorous nickname that honours the often bare-chested US actor David Hasselhoff. It is, however, a type of yeti crab, said Professor Alex Rogers who led the research cruise that found the animal, and it will be given a formal scientific name in due course. Yeti crabs were first identified in the southern Pacific and are recognised for their hairs, or setae, along their claws and limbs that they use to cultivate the bacteria which they then eat.But the new species found around the vents that populate the East Scotia Ridge are slightly different in that they exhibit long setae on their ventral surface - on their undersides.
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