November 16, 2010

New Squid Discovered In The Indian Ocean

A new large species of squid has been discovered among several dozens of other types gathered during exploration of the Indian Ocean, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said Monday.

The 27-inch-long new species is part of the "chiroteuthid" family. It has light emitting organs that attract prey in the darkness thousands of feet deep along the craggy seabed, according to the IUCN.

More than 7,000 samples of lifeforms were gathered during last year's Seamounts cruise led by the IUCN that spent six weeks trawling the Indian Ocean depths up to 4,000 feet down.

The expedition was launched to reveal the mysteries of seamounts -- underwater mountains -- in the southern Indian Ocean and also to help improve conservation and management of marine resources.

"For 10 days now, 21 scientists armed with microscopes have been working through intimidating rows of jars containing fishes, squids, zooplankton and other interesting creatures," said Alex Rogers, marine biologist at the Zoological Society of London.

"We're hoping to have the ecological results in 12 to 18 months," Rogers told AFP.

More than 70 species of squid have been identified from the Seamounts cruise, representing more than 20 percent of the global squid biodiversity.


Image Caption: The new squid is 70cm long. Photo: Rainer von Brandis


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