Oceanographers exploring some of the most remote deep-sea hot springs ever found have discovered what they say is a “riot of life” in a distinct biological zone that no one knew existed.
They said the exploration, which occurred more than 1.6 kilometres down in the ocean just north of Antarctica, uncovered the most strikingly unique assemblage of life forms found in decades, including thousands upon thousands of a species of crab never seen before, as well as new barnacle, anemone, snail and starfish species.
“It’s remarkable that we can be in the 21st century and still not know fundamental things about what lives on our planet,” said Cindy Van Dover, director of Duke University’s marine laboratory, who has been studying life at deep-sea vents for 30 years but was not involved in the discoveries. “This is really exciting because it keeps open the door for even more discovery down the road.”
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NEWS [Toronto Star] by Mark Schrope Jan 5, 2012