Black jellyfish, strange marine species discovered in deep ocean
October 17, 2007

A 1-cm long larval squid, photographed through Russ Hopcroft's microscope.

This lovely red medusa, Atolla gigantea, about 15 cm in diameter, was collected in midwater by the ROV and photographed in the bigger kreisel. When a species like this is caught with a net, the soft gelatinous tissue is shredded by the net fabric or squashed by other captured animals and the tentacles are torn off. This beautiful red color is common among mesopelagic 'jellies' because it isn't visible in the perpetually dark water, yet it masks any bioluminescence emitted by prey inside the pigmented predator's gut.

A jellyfish in the genus Aequorea swims in the planktonkreisel. A bluewater scuba diver caught this 50 mm diameter medusa in a plastic jar and carried it back to the ship's lab for study.

Images and captions courtesy of 2007: Exploring the Inner Space of the Celebes Sea
An expedition to an unexplored deep ocean basin south of the Philippine Islands has turned up a trove of previous undiscovered species including a black jellyfish, a transparent sea cucumber, and a tentacled worm that resembles a squid.

The project, backed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Geographic, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), used a remote-operated vehicle to survey the Celebes Sea -- the center of one of the most biologically diverse marine areas -- at a depth of more than 9,100 feet (2,750 m). More than two dozen scientists were involved in the project. A report is expected in November.

Dr. Larry Madin, chief scientist for the expedition, called the expedition a success.

"We had made the first use of a deep ROV in the Celebes Sea, and perhaps in all of the Philippines," he wrote on the expedition's blog. "We found fascinating animals, some familiar, some possibly new. We put together from all our samplers a pretty complete picture of the variety of zooplankton, fishes and benthic creatures of this area."

The researchers hope their findings will stimulate more extensive exploration and research in the region.

2007: Exploring the Inner Space of the Celebes Sea

Species discovery news

Photos of living gremlin discovered in Indonesia
(11/19/2008) Scientists have rediscovered a long-lost species of primate on a remote island in Indonesia. Conducting a survey of Mount Rore Katimbo in Lore Lindu National Park on the island of Sulawesi, a team led by Sharon Gursky-Doyen of Texas A&M University captured three pygmy tarsiers, a tiny species of primate that was last collected in 1921 and was assumed to be extinct until 2000 when two scientists studying rats accidently trapped and killed an individual. Gursky-Doyen's team spent two months using 276 mist nets to capture the gremlin-like creatures so they could be fitted with radio collars and tracked. One other individual was spotted but eluded capture.

Studying world's rarest penguin leads to the discovery of a new species
(11/19/2008) Researching one of the world's most endangered penguins in New Zealand, the yellow-eyed penguin, has led to a remarkable discovery. DNA from 500-year-old penguin fossils has shown that the country was once home to not just one penguin species, but two. The DNA has resurrected an unknown extinct penguin, which researchers have named the Waitaha Penguin.

Newly discovered ocean bacteria fixes nitrogen instead of carbon
(11/14/2008) A remarkable species of cyanobacteria possessing a unique nitrogen fixation adaptation has recently been discovered in the open ocean, report researchers writing in the November 14th issue of Science.

New species of flying lemurs discovered
(11/10/2008) A new study has found that colugos or flying lemurs are twice as diverse as previously believed.

Hundreds of rare and bizarre marine species discovered
(11/9/2008) The evolutionary origin of deep sea octopuses, new species populating an underwater "continent", 12,000 amphipods crowding a square meter in the Gulf of Mexico, massive gatherings of white sharks in the middle of the Pacific: these are just a few highlights from the Census of Marine Life (COML)'s fourth report.

CITATION: (October 17, 2007).

Black jellyfish, strange marine species discovered in deep ocean.