Sunday, December 10, 2006

"20 million fish swarming in a school the size of Manhattan Island..."

Credit where credit is due: The international media is reporting that the oceans are brimming over with more life--variety and amount--than previously expected. In brief, the oceans are getting icky and empty around the fringes, but the vast pelagic depths are full of fauna--and surprises.

Another team came across a shrimp that was thought to have become extinct. Dr. O'Dor compared the discovery to one off Madagascar in the 1940s when scientists found a fish with legs that was known only through fossils and was believed to have disappeared. In the most recent case, a team surveying an underwater peak in the Coral Sea found the Jurassic shrimp, a beady-eyed crustacean which they thought had been extinguished 50 million years ago.

The fish with legs was a coelacanth, in case you don't know.

I'm especially glad to learn that there's a lot more remote and robotic exploration going on down there nowadays. There was a pioneering age of discovery in the 60s and 70s, with mini-subs and such, and then not so much. So it's great that we're getting back down there in a big way. The depths of the ocean are in large part lesser known than what Hubble and such can see of our own solar system.

Wonder how those Jurassic shrimp would taste in a Red Lobster scampi sauce...

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