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Jellyfish expert Lisa Gershwin, curator of natural science at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Tasmania, caught the unnamed species in early March while swimming near a Tasmanian jetty with a “phototank” — a small aquarium that makes it easier to photograph sea life.

The jellyfish does not emit its own light, as bioluminescent creatures do.

Rather, its rainbow glow emanates from light reflecting off the creature’s cilia, small hairlike projections that beat simultaneously to move the jellyfish through the water.

Though the glowing jelly is Gershwin’s 159th species discovery in Australia, she still finds the discovery “simply splendid.”

For one, the jelly is relatively large — 13cm long, but — the invertebrate is also incredibly fragile—it shatters as soon as it touches a net, she said.

More information here on the National Geographic site.


anthomastiscascadeA bright red, undescribed species of shell-less coral, called an anthomastid or gorgons-head coral, at 1700 metres deep at the Cascade Plateau, off south-east Tasmania.

A four-week expedition to explore the deep ocean south-west of Tasmania has revealed new species of animals and more evidence of impacts of increasing carbon dioxide on deep-sea corals.

The collaborative voyage of US and Australian researchers was led by chief scientists Dr Jess Adkins from the California Institute of Technology and Dr Ron Thresher from CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation and Wealth from Oceans Flagships.

“We set out to search for life deeper than any previous voyage in Australian waters,” Dr Thresher says. “We also gathered data to assess the threat posed by ocean acidification and climate change on Australia’s unique deep-water coral reefs.”

Click any image below to see larger version

The survey through the Tasman Fracture Commonwealth Marine Reserve, south-west of Tasmania, explored the near vertical slice in the earth’s crust, known as the Tasman Fracture Zone, which drops from approximately 2000 metres to over 4000 metres.

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What do fungi and stonewash jeans have in common? What has a moss got to do with the Tyrolean iceman? What are the tallest mosses? What is a reindeer moss? How can lichens read pollution?

The answers to these questions and many more will be answered in a remarkable free touring exhibition, Hidden in Plain View: the forgotten flora, staged by the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne which goes on display in Launceston in August.

Dr Teresa Lebel, one of the organisers, says the exhibition is about encouraging people to investigate the influence of the forgotten flora on their daily lives through curiosities, rarities, and everyday items, and gain an understanding of the importance of conserving the ‘often overlooked’ in our world.
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remote-1.jpgLaunching the ABE from Southern Surveyor. Image credit – CSIRO

Scientists aboard the research vessel, Southern Surveyor, return to Hobart today with a collection of coral samples and photographs taken in the Southern Ocean at greater depths than ever before.

Using a remotely operated submersible vehicle the international research team captured images of life found on deep-sea pinnacles and valleys up to three kilometres beneath the Ocean’s surface.

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