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New marine species revealed

A Trichopeltarion crab

A Trichopeltarion crab

Scientists have found 274 new species of corals, starfish, sponges, shrimps, and crabs two kilometres beneath the surface of the ocean around Antarctica.

“We know very little about the deep sea,” said lead scientist Nic Bax, a marine biologist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Hobart, Tasmania.

“Finding out how much live coral is down there, and how large those communities are, is very exciting,” he added.

<em>A new species of sea star, or starfish</em>

A new species of sea star, or starfish

Some of the corals were found to be about 2,000 years old, said Bax.

CSIRO made the discoveries in two separate voyages to marine reserves located 100 to 200 nautical miles off the southern coast of the island of Tasmania, Australia.

Using powerful cameras, scientists shot 8,000 pictures and more than 100 hours of video footage of the seafloor.

They also discovered 145 undersea canyons and 80 new seamounts, or underwater mountains.

<em>A new species of Ophiomitrella brittle star</em>

A new species of Ophiomitrella brittle star

<em>New species of Plesionika shrimp found at depth of 2km</em>

New species of Plesionika shrimp found at depth of 2km