Deep-sea biodiversity off New Zealand higher than assumed

Date: September 21, 2021
A spectacular group of Venus flower basket glass sponges (Euplectella aspergillum) glass sponges with a squat lobster in the middle.

Source: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet

New research has revealed the deep sea, off of New Zealand to be more biodiverse than previously thought.

The expedition, led by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) geobiologist Gert Wörheide discovered six new species of glass sponge.

“Our expedition discovered that the deep sea off the coast of New Zealand is considerably more species rich than previously known. In the context of plans to expand deep-sea mining and deep-sea fishing, these findings provide an important set of data that can aid efforts to protect these very special habitats.”

Gert Wörheide, Geobiologist at LMU

The research team’s results also”strongly suggest that sponges are among the oldest of all animal groups.”

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