Navigation Links
'New continent' and species discovered in Atlantic study
Date:8/17/2007

A scientist from the University of Aberdeen is leading a team of international researchers whose work will continue our understanding of life in the deepest oceans, and contribute to the global Census of Marine Life.

Exploring life in the North Atlantic Ocean at various depths of 800 to 3,500 metres, a team of 31 scientists are returning from a five-week scientific expedition which has surfaced a wealth of new information and insights, stunning images and marine life specimens, with one species thought to be new to science.

The international team will be arriving in Scotland tomorrow (Saturday, August 18) following the expedition along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) between Iceland and the Azores on board the 40 million royal research ship, the Royal Research Ship, James Cook.

Professor Monty Priede, Director of the Universitys highly-acclaimed Oceanlab, along with colleague Dr Nicola King, and students Jessica Craig, Claudia Alt and James Hawkins, are part of the science team on board the ship.

Professor Priede said: It is like surveying a new continent half way between America and Europe. We can recognise the creatures, but familiar ones are absent and unusual ones are common. We are finding species that are rare or unknown elsewhere in the world.

One of the worlds most advanced research vessels, the RRS James Cook, will be docking at Fairlie Pier by Largs tomorrow (Saturday, August 18), bringing samples of rare animals and a vast archive of pictures and videos, which will help us to understand more about life in the oceans.

The RRS James Cook is the latest addition to the Natural Environment Research Councils fleet of oceanographic research ships.

The team of scientists mapped over 1,500 square miles, exploring the deep sea creatures living in the depths of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. They used the latest technology to learn more about what is living in this remote and relatively unexplored deep-sea environment using remotely operated vehicles equipped with digital cameras.

With a suite of eight deep sea cameras they were able to capture images of life on the peaks and valleys of very rugged terrain. Colourful sponges and corals encrust rocky cliffs, whereas areas of soft sediment are populated by starfish, brittle-stars, sea cucumbers and burrowing worms. Fishes, crabs and shrimps forage over the ridge exploiting whatever they can find. Trawls, traps and corers have brought back thousands of specimens for study back in the laboratory.

Professor Priede said: We are trying to imagine what the north Atlantic would be like without the ridge that literally cuts it in half, as we think it has a major effect on ocean currents, productivity and biodiversity of the North Atlantic Ocean.

The RRS James Cook ship is an absolutely fantastic facility and is allowing marine researchers to explore new environments, find new animals and study global changes in the worlds oceans.

The aim of the voyage is to contribute to the wider MAR-ECO project studying biodiversity along mid-ocean ridges (www.mar-eco.no) and to the global Census research programme. Census of Marine Life is a 10-year global scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution and abundance of life in the oceans. The team already think they may have discovered a new species of Ostracod (or seed shrimp) that was found swarming in large numbers on the western side of the ridge. Specimens are on their way to experts in Southampton where world-renowned expert, Professor Martin Angel, will ultimately determine whether this is a new species, describe it and allocate a name.

Dr Steven Wilson, Director of Science & Innovation for the Natural Environment Research Council, said: "The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is still relatively unexplored so this voyage will have played a vital role in expanding our knowledge of the biodiversity of the region.

Water currents and tides over the ridge were studied intensively and daily measurements were made of productivity in surface waters. The team left behind automatic equipment on the sea floor at six observing stations that will continue measurements and photography over the next two years. Further voyages are planned in 2008 and 2009 that will include retrieval of the gear.

Oceanlab was responsible for assisting with the expedition management and deployed three deep ocean lander vehicles recording luminescent displays from animals living in the darkness on one of the peaks of the mid ocean ridge.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Phillips
j.phillips@abdn.ac.uk
44-012-242-73174
Census of Marine Life
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Antarctic Treaty Meeting moves to protect frozen continent from non-native species
2. Evolution of Old World fruit flies on three continents mirrors climate change
3. 30+ AIDS vaccine clinical trials in 24 countries, research occurring on every continent
4. New species from old data
5. New Clues Add 40,000 Years to Age of Human Species
6. Ants Genetic Engineering Leads To Species Interdependency
7. Same mutation aided evolution in many fish species, Stanford study finds
8. Fibril Shape Is The Basis Of Prion Strains And Cross-species Prion Infection
9. Reservoirs may accelerate the spread of invasive aquatic species, researchers say
10. Small species back-up giant marsupial climate change extinction claim
11. Aggressive aquatic species invading Great Lakes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/6/2017)... -- Delta ID Inc., a leader in consumer-grade iris scanning ... CES® 2017. Delta ID has collaborated with Gentex Corporation ... of iris scanning as a secure, reliable and convenient ... car, and as a way to elevate the security ... ID and Gentex will demonstrate (booth #7326 LVCC) a ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... LAS VEGAS , Jan. 3, 2017 ... announced the introduction of Onitor Track, an innovative biometric ... and men, showcasing this month at the 2017 Consumer ... . In the U.S., the World ... affect more than two-thirds of adults who are overweight ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... , Dec. 20, 2016 The ... sharing, rental and leasing is stoking significant interest ... radio frequency technology, Bluetooth low energy (BLE), biometrics ... as the next wave of wireless technologies in ... access system to advanced access systems opens the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... January 12, 2017 , ... Each year, Crain’s Detroit Business News ranks the ... evaluates the patent estate of a company, its impact and significance, and the likelihood ... the way in technologies that transform energy sources such as low dose X-ray and ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... January 12, 2017 , ... After ... Lisa Rosendahl’s doctors gave her only a few months to live. Now a ... that has stabilized Rosendahl’s disease and increased both the quantity and quality of ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... and Pune, India , January 12, 2017 ... Toxicity Testing Market by Type and End Users - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry ... million by 2022 from $2,921 million in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 15.07% ... ... Allied Market Research Logo ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... Colo. (PRWEB) , ... January 11, 2017 , ... ... the journal Clinical Cancer Research show early promise of the investigational anti-cancer agent ... despite a median 5 previous treatment regimens. Twenty-seven percent of these heavily pretreated ...
Breaking Biology Technology: