Sea of New Ocean Life Discovered

Scientists find new crustaceans, rays, sharks and coral
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2008 2:42 AM CDT
Marine scientists have discovered hundreds of new animal species, like this green banded snapping shrimp, on reefs in Australian waters.    (AP Photo/Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum)
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(Newser) – Over 100 new ocean species have been discovered in coral reefs off Western Australia during a global census of marine life. They include exotic soft corals, new kinds of jellyfish, rays and shellfish, and parasites that feed on the tongues of fish, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The discoveries are just a fraction of the new species being identified globally.

Marine biologists warn the reefs face threats from ocean acidification, pollution, global warming and overfishing. "Only by establishing a baseline of biodiversity and following through with later censuses can people know the impact of those threats and find clues to mitigate them," said the head of the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
(Read more Western Australia stories.)