Zooillogix

Marine biologists off the coast of Australia have discovered what they believe to be hundreds of new species on the Great Barrier and Ningaloo Reefs. The project is part of CReefs, a global census of coral reefs, which is in turn part of the larger Census of Marine Life, an ongoing effort to catalog all ocean life.

The researchers were kind enough to take a number of incredible photos, many of which we share below. It’s not clear to me which of these are newly identified organisms and which are just pretty critters they encountered along the way, but many of them are spectacular regardless.

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Cuttlefish off Lizard Island. Photo: John Huisman, Murdoch University, 2008

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Christmas Tree Worm off Lizard Island. Photo: John Huisman, Murdoch University, 2008

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Twisted Nudibranch, Chromodoris elizabethina, on the reef face off Heron Island. Photo: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, 2008.

Many more below the fold.

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Ctenophore or comb jelly, collected of Wassteri reef, Heron Island. Photo: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, 2008.

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Green banded snapping shrimp, Alpheus parvirostris, taken from dead coral head off Heron Island. Photo: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, 2008.

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Octopus venturing out. Photo: John Huisman, Murdoch University, 2008

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Pteropod jelly captured near surface off Lizard Island. Photo: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, 2008.

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Colonial salp jelly. Photo: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, 2008.

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White tipped coral crab collected from dead coral head off Heron Island. Photo: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, 2008.

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Sabellid or fan worm. Photo: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, 2008.

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Pohls Sea urchins found off Lizard Island. Photo: Gary Cranitch, Queensland Museum, 2008.

Thanks to Ratna Ralkowski for alerting us! More photos

Comments

  1. #1 The Perky Skeptic
    September 19, 2008

    I… have this nigh-irresistible urge to hug that cuttlefish!!! SO CUTE!!!!!!

  2. #2 scicurious
    September 19, 2008

    Awesome! I think that cuttlefish needs to be my new desktop.

  3. #3 juliagoolia
    September 19, 2008

    Jellyfish are just so beautiful! So beautiful, but so scary!

  4. #4 milkshake
    September 19, 2008

    The Australians must have been a randy bunch – that poor cuttlefish is blushing!

  5. #5 themadlolscientist, FCD
    September 19, 2008

    Self-satisfied cuttlefish is self-satisfied. And very cute. :-)

  6. #6 Marilyn Terrell
    September 19, 2008

    I want to hug the nudibranch, if only they weren’t toxic. National Geo ran a gallery of glamorous nudibranchs earlier this summer:
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/06/nudibranchs/doubilet-photography

  7. #7 Cuttlefish
    September 19, 2008

    *happysigh*

  8. #8 Lovecraft
    September 20, 2008

    The term “pteropod jelly” is wrong on two counts. First, the animal is not a cnidarian or coelenterate, it is a gastropod. Secondly, the term “pteropod” is polyphyletic and refers to the orders Thecosomata and Gymnosomata. This is the only use of the phrase online so it is your error, not the author’s.

  9. #9 Andrew
    September 20, 2008

    Bless you oh wise nerd for pointing out our wicked misinformed ways. Please continue the good fight against the evil CReef lie spreaders http://www.coml.org/medres/creefs2008/creefsgallery/index.html from whence we found the phrase used online, by the author.

  10. #10 tai haku
    September 21, 2008

    I don’t really get why they released a random selection of photos of widespread known species with the announcement. All the UK papers ran the pictures as the new species. My dad emailed me to tell me the chromidoris I photographed in the philippines 3 years ago had just been discovered in australia as a new species and I should totally get in touch to correct them.

  11. #11 zay?flama
    September 22, 2008

    very good pictures.
    Thanks

  12. #12 y
    September 23, 2008

    Christmas tree worms are fairly well known in the captive aquarium world. So pretty.. :)

  13. #13 Rachel
    September 30, 2008

    Jellyfish are so interesting but my favorite from these 3 has to be the comb jelly it’s so pretty and graceful!

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    February 16, 2009

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    November 13, 2009

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    November 13, 2009

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    July 1, 2012

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    July 6, 2012

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