Planet Earth

#67: Marine Census Completes Its Count

By Valerie RossDec 16, 2010 12:00 AM
Yoshihiro Fujiwara/Jamstec | NULL


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

October marked the completion of the ambitious, decadelong Census of Marine Life. More than 540 international expeditions sailed to coral reefs, hydrothermal vents, seamounts, and open ocean waters to assemble a comprehensive picture of the diversity, habitats, and abundance of animals and microbes living in the sea. Ocean-
going researchers found life even in some of the hottest, coldest, and most chemically inhospitable places on the planet. They also reported that microbes may account for as much as 90 percent of the mass of all ocean life. The census turned up more than 6,000 new species candidates, including the pair depicted here: an acorn worm from the deeps of the North Atlantic, and a polychaete worm (right) found on a whale carcass near Japan. The estimated number of marine species now stands at 250,000.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%


Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.