Monday, October 04, 2010

Who lives in the ocean?

The census of marine life is done, after 10 years of work by 2,700 scientists from 80 nations with a price tag of $650 million. What did we learn? Ocean, we barely know ye.

According to CNN, scientists estimate that there are more than 1 million marine species but only about 250,000 have been formally described in scientific literature over the centuries. Those figures exclude microbes -- of which the census estimate there are up to 1 billion kinds.

Myriam Sibuet, vice-chair of the Scientific Steering Committee on the mammoth study, said: "The census enlarged the known world. Life astonished us everywhere we looked. In the deep sea we found luxuriant communities despite extreme conditions.

Extreme conditions, that's my speciality as a the time I rode inside a submarine down 10,000 feet to a hydrothermal vent community. Now THAT is living!

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