Mike the Mad Biologist

Giant Antarctic Invertebrate Critters!

Flasing back to my marine biology days, International Polar Year researchers have discovered all sorts of neato critters (sadly, I can’t find any pictures):

Scientists who conducted the most comprehensive survey to date of New Zealand’s Antarctic waters were surprised by the size of some specimens found, including jellyfish with 12-foot tentacles and 2-foot-wide starfish.

A 2,000-mile journey through the Ross Sea that ended Thursday has also potentially turned up several new species, including as many as eight new mollusks.

…Hanchet singled out the discovery of “fields” of sea lilies that stretched for hundreds of yards across the ocean floor.

“Some of these big meadows of sea lilies I don’t think anybody has seen before,” Hanchet said.

….Large sea spiders, jellyfish with 12-foot tentacles, huge sea snails and starfish the size of big food platters were found during a 50-day voyage, marine scientist Don Robertson said.

Cold temperatures, a small number of predators, high levels of oxygen in the sea water and even longevity could explain the size of some specimens, said Robertson, a scientist with NIWA.

Now we need pictures….


  1. #1 Sigmund
    March 22, 2008

    For some reason I’m reminded of Spongebob Squarepants.

  2. #2 BlindSquirrel
    March 29, 2008

    Those jelly fish, can we start calling them sea jellies? They aren’t really fish, you know. Ditto for the “star fish”. And don’t get me started on “sea gulls”…

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