Hundreds of New Australian Reef Species Discovered

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

By themadlolscien… (not verified) on 19 Sep 2008 #permalink

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.

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.

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

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

deni most beautiful and vibrant photos up gune gürduÄum this is great Greetings friends harikaaaBu sayfada Türkçe Ä°ngilizce çeviri online olarak makina tarafından yapılmaktadır. Türkçe'de Ä°ngilizce'ye cümle ve metin çevirisi en fazla 1000 harften oluÅabilir.

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