Navigation Links
The Antarctic Ocean floor

The biodiversity of the seas and the ocean floors is a mystery for science yet to unravel. With this curiosity, a research team - including a biologist from the University of the Basque Country, is to set sail for the second time on an oceanographic campaign to study this biodiversity of the seas and the ocean floors of the Antarctic.

Bellingshausen Sea

The expedition, aboard the oceanographic vessel, Hesperides, will shortly be working in the Bellingshausen Sea. The reason why these waters have remained almost unexplored is due to its adverse climate which, in turn, has assured that human presence has been scarce.

On this present campaign the scientists will trawl the ocean floor at up to 2000 metres depth, using both Agassiz-trawl fitted with a closed net as well as a Box-corer.

The two methods are complementary. With the Agassiz-trawl a corridor of the sea floor is swept to catch all the species on the way in a mixed form. On the other hand the Box-corer is cast and once it hits the bottom it takes a 50cm x 50cm sample thereof for subsequent analysis on deck. With this sample we can quantify the number of each species per square metre, its biomass, and so on. Thus it is known as a quantified sample of the ocean floor.

When the samples arrive on deck they are washed and classified on board in large groups or rows: sponges, corals, polyquets, molluscs, echinoderms, fish, etc. and are photographed so that their colour when alive and external anatomy can be clearly appreciated. Finally, they are inserted in alcohol or formaldehyde for their subsequent analysis in the laboratory.

Identification of a new species

Once the animals get to port they are distributed amongst the specialists according to their group. In our case, at the Leioa campus of the University of the Basque Country in Bizkaia, two groups of vermes or sea worms are taxonomically analysed. The aim of this is to identify the species, to find out if they are new species or belong to previously described ones.

To this end, both the external and the internal anatomy of the animal are thoroughly analysed, using hand-lens and microscope. It should be pointed out that these animals measure between 1mm and 150mm.

In the laboratory itself photographs are again taken in order to identify features peculiar tot he animal and, finally, the classification of the species in question is presented in the specialist literature.

In the previous campaign, expedition members discovered a new species of vermes. The name of the species and its morphological characteristics will shortly be put forward for approval by the scientific community.

Thus, this exciting task of analysing the biodiversity of the marine floor is, little by little, bearing fruit. We trust that it is not too late, given that the experts claim that many species are disappearing ?even before we know about them.


'"/>

Source:Elhuyar Fundazioa


Related biology news :

1. Antarctic ice shelf retreats happened before
2. Ice core dipstick indicates West Antarctic ice has thinned less than believed
3. B-15A collides with Antarctic ice tongue
4. Discovering an ecosystem beneath a collapsed Antarctic ice shelf
5. Sea Ice May Be on Increase in the Antarctic
6. Freeze-dried mats of microbes awaken in Antarctic streambed
7. Thin tough skin, slow-growing gills protect larval Antarctic fish
8. Scientists find Antarctic ozone hole to recover later than expected
9. Antarctic Treaty Meeting moves to protect frozen continent from non-native species
10. Researchers discover which organs in Antarctic fish produce antifreeze
11. Antarctic warming to reduce animals at base of ecosystem, shift some penguin populations southward
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2016)... YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 ... of the bioinformatic market by reviewing the recent ... enabled tools that drive the field forward. Includes ... to: Identify the challenges and opportunities that ... providers and software solution developers, as well as ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016  Based on its recent ... Sullivan recognizes US-based Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) ... Award for New Product Innovation. IRIS, a prominent ... North America , is poised to set ... diabetic retinopathy market. The IRIS technology presents superior ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of ... ended December 31, 2015. --> ... increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year to ... was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... , February 4, 2016 - New FDA action ... - New FDA action date of July 22, ... July 22, 2016   - ... in the past decade indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of ... has the potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Beike Biotechnology, the Shenzhen ... in late 2015 to mark their successful combined efforts ... --> --> The signing, ... Therapy" was hosted by the Shenzhen Cell Bank and ... Beike Biotechnology Co., Ltd. Shenzhen,s ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRV ... commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies, announced today that it ... to be held February 8-9, 2016, at the Waldorf ... Growth & Healthcare Conference, taking place in ... James Sapirstein , Chief Executive Officer of ContraVir, ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 Strasbourg, France , ... --> Strasbourg, France , to the US ... is pleased to announce that it acted as an advisor ... in Strasbourg, France , to the US ... --> Transgene (Euronext: TNG), a member of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: