Recently I learned that we are still discovering about 1800 new species each year.   I believe that this year despite the ongoing pandemic we will continue to find amazing new life.  Here is a recent report of some findings:

The ATLAS project is a multi-year research program involving more than 80 researchers from countries bordering the North Atlantic ocean.  Thus far, they have conducted more than 45 deep-water research expeditions and they have revealed multiple new life-forms, even though that is not the primary mission of the program which is to focus on in-depth assessments of the ocean’s ecosystems.

At least 12 new species have been found and at least 35 species were located in areas where they were previously unknown.   Amongst the new species were fish, deep-water corals, and other invertebrate sponge species, including a bryozoan “moss animal.”

One of the best articles discussing this research was put together by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which ironically is located not in the Atlantic Ocean!






Other news of ocean life includes:

In January 2021, the Wildlife Conservation Society reported that the endangered short-tail nurse shark (Pseudoginglymostoma brevicaudatum) has expanded its range by more than 1200 miles, southward and westward from Tanzania and Kenya.  Its typical coral reef locations have been under considerable threat pushing the shark to explore new areas.

This diminutive shark – just 30 inches long – needs additional conversation protection.  Very little is known about its breeding and feeding habits. 

You can read about the recent range extension and how it was identified in the Journal Marine Biodiversity volume 51, article number 7 for 2021.  Hopefully, your local library has access to a subscription.  

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