New starfish , sea cucumbers and more have been discovered over 16,000 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean .
A group of researchers has discovered up to 39 new species in the depths of the Pacific Ocean .
Through research published in the journal Zookeys , scientists at the Natural History Museum in London studied 48 different species in the abyssal plains of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, between Hawaii and Mexico, at 4,800 meters below sea level.
new species discovered
Using a remotely operated vehicle armed with a robotic claw, the team was able to bring the animals to the surface where they could be closely studied and genetically analyzed. It was important to know the DNA of the species to determine its uniqueness.
Among the species discovered is a “lazy” starfish, since it lies on the bottom of the sea.
Likewise, new species of sea cucumbers were found , as well as previously undocumented worms, jellyfish, corals and other segmented invertebrates.
and known species
Some familiar faces were also seen on the expedition. One of which was a curious species is the “gummy squirrel” ( Psychropotes longicauda ), a peculiar-looking sea cucumber that has 18 short feeding tentacles.
They also noted a species called Peniagone vitrea , another deep-sea sea cucumber discovered by the HMS Challenger expedition in the 1870s.
Study lead author Dr Guadalupe Bribiesca-Contreras of the Natural History Museum said: “This research is important not only because of the number of possibly new species discovered, but because these megafaunal specimens have only been previously studied from of images of the bottom of the sea.