05

Aug

2010

Fish with Fanged Tongue – A Discovery in the Census of Marine Life

 

What more needs to be said.  I’ve already mentioned the Census of Marine Life here on the blog. But today, I saw this picture on National Geographic’s website:

A deep sea dragonfish. Photograph by Julian Finn, Museum Victoria

A deep sea dragonfish. Photograph by Julian Finn, Museum Victoria

From National Geographic: “Australia’s ‘terrifying’ dragonfish uses its many fangs—which even stud its tongue—to hook hard-to-find prey in the cold, dark depths, scientists say. The banana-size fish is one of tens of thousands of both known and new species included in a new inventory released today by the Census of Marine Life, a decade-long ocean-exploration project.”

Almost all the species in the key regional areas are included in the unprecedented list of
185,000 marine species created by the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), an
affiliate of the Census of Marine Life.

Yikes! Sometimes I forget that the ocean covers 70% of this world and that we STILL don’t know all what’s down there in this age of GPS, smart phones, electric cars, and subsurface atom smashers. Over the 10-year course of this study, a global network of researchers in more than 80 nations has collaborated to improve our understanding of marine biodiversity – past, present, and future. Almost all the species in the key regional areas are included in the unprecedented list of  185,000 marine species created by the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), an affiliate of the Census of Marine Life. In October, the Census will release its latest estimate of all marine species known to science,  including those still to be added to WoRMS and OBIS. This is likely to exceed 230,000. Don’t forget to check out our book, The Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life, also due out this October.  For more info, images of scary fish/mollusks/eels/etc., videos, maps, facts and figures, please check this recent Census of Marine press release and, of course, their extensive and highly informative website.

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