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Thread: Biologist finds trove of sponges

  1. #1
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    CP's have been found everywhere on Earth except Antarctica and the oceans. Since the oceans have barely even been explored, could there be cp's somewhere in the ocean?
    Could this article be proof.



    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Biologist finds trove of sponges
    Paper to be published on raft of new species


    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]
    By ERIC MORRISON
    JUNEAU EMPIRE
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Courtesy of R. Stone/NOAA Fisheries
    New life in the deep: Shown are seven species of deep-sea sponges in
    the Aleutian Islands, including two specimens new to science (the pink
    specimen, lower left, and the white specimen, upper left). The photo
    was taken from the Delta submersible at a 138-meter depth near Little
    Tanaga Island.
    Assessing fish habitat in the research submersible Delta last year off
    the Aleutian Islands, Bob Stone discovered a scientific treasure.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service biologist from the Auke Bay
    laboratory and his research team found 28 new species of sponges. It
    was almost by accident, he said. They were researching deep-sea coral
    and fish habitat in the remote Alaska waters, when they found the
    sponges and began collecting samples.

    Stone said they collected about 105 different species from relatively
    shallow waters with the Delta, and down to depths of 3000 meters with
    a Remotely Operated Vehicle.

    "About 27 percent of those were new, leading us to believe that if we
    were to go back there we could find hundreds of them," he said. "There
    are so many sponges there that we didn't collect last year that you
    just have to believe that there's a gold mine of sponges out there."

    The underwater landscapes were like a scene from a Dr. Seuss book,
    with vibrant colored sponges of all shapes and sizes, Stone said. The
    sponges were as diverse in appearance as exotic tulips and
    chocolate-chip cookies.

    Many people mistakenly classify sponges as a type of underwater plant,
    Stone said.

    "They're animals but they don't fit the typical description of an
    animal," he said. "They are filter feeders."

    Sponges can filter vast amounts of water on a daily basis to extract
    nutrients from the water.

    "A typical sponge can filter its own volume of water in 10 to 30
    seconds," he said.

    Stone has been busy collaborating with taxonomists in Germany and
    Canada to classify and name the different species.

    "Describing the new species, it is an incredible amount of work to do
    this," Stone said.

    In order to gain scientific acceptance, specimens must be registered
    and authenticated at one of several qualified museums. Stone and his
    colleagues have sent several of the sponges to the Smithsonian Museum
    in Washington, D.C.

    They have named 11 of the 28 new species so far, mainly with names of
    the Aleutian Islands such as Tananga and Atka.

    "We're gonna run out of names real quick because there just aren't
    enough islands out there to name them after," Stone said.

    Other names are derived from prominent structures of the animals. One
    of the sponges, the Corona, is particularly fascinating to Stone and a
    unique discovery in the scientific world.

    "They're carnivorous, they don't filter sea water at all but they've
    adapted the ability to capture prey floating by in the water column,"
    Stone said.

    Initial research indicates that the Corona sponges impale prey with
    tiny spines and form tissue around the creatures to digest them, he
    said. The scientists named the species Corona, the Spanish word for
    crown, because of its prominent spiked top.

    "That's a pretty significant finding," said Stone. "It's very unique
    among the species."

    Stone has a paper on the Corona sponge that is scheduled to be
    published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the
    United Kingdom.

    Sponges are a unique venue of research that has been overshadowed by
    the more glamorous and politically sensitive issue of corals, Stone
    said.

    "Somehow in that whole (political) thing it got lost that sponges are
    also important, and in my opinion, more important in terms of
    abundance and diversity," he said. "If you look at it on that basis,
    they're more important than corals. But I'll admit, they are not as
    pretty or sexy as corals; but they are every bit as important from the
    standpoint of fish habitat and ecosystem function."

    Stone said there are more questions than answers about sponges,
    particularly about essential fish habitat. NMFS has photos of fish and
    other marine life intermingling with sponges, but Stone said there is
    no conclusive answer to the importance of these sponges to the overall
    fish habitat.

    Stone has been creating guides with photos and descriptions of the
    different species for federal fisheries observers to use on trawl
    boats to identify where the different sponges are located.

    "If you look at the bycatch there is just an incredible amount of
    sponges that are in some of these fishing nets," he said. "None of
    them are intact, they're all just pieces, which makes them difficult
    to ID."

    There are also many questions about the possible future uses of sponges.

    "Deep sea animals show incredible promise as natural sources of
    bio-medically active compounds. Compounds that are used as antibiotics
    and other medicines," Stone said. "(Sponges) presumably show good
    promise to fight diseases such as asthma, tuberculosis, cancer and
    even AIDS."

    Stone said he is excited about his research as a biologist in the coming years.

    "Some taxonomists go their entire life without finding one species,
    and we've found 28 like that, right off the bat," he said.
    http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/...51003009.shtml

  2. #2
    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    sorry to be pessimistic...but I kinda doubt there will be cp's in the ocean. pretty much the only plants in the ocean are algae and seaweed. once you get to a certain point below the surface, there's just not enough light.

    though this article is kind of intriguing. Sponges are animals, not plants...but we keep on finding new, weird organisms all the time. who knows?
    -Emily

  3. #3
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Hey, if they're carnivorous, you know we have to add them to our collections!

    I find it funny that they are running out of name sto call them. Have they used up 'Bob" or maybe Larry, Daryl and Daryl?

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    Hey, seaweed is algae! So yeah, no chance of ocean CPs. Unless they find saltwater Aldrovanda (unlikely methinks) or Utricularia (much more likely). I'd grow any if they found 'em.

    -D. Lybrand
    Check my growlist! Nothing currently available for trade...

  5. #5
    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    sponges(like coral) are animals...not plants. like presto said...i have a question....are anenomes animals? everyone refers to them as plants so im not sure.
    alex
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

  6. #6
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (jimscott @ Mar. 30 2006,4:18)]Hey, if they're carnivorous, you know we have to add them to our collections!
    Spectacular, jim! The lions are in the mail.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  7. #7
    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    anemones are indeed animals. they're in the same group as jellyfish.
    -Emily

  8. #8
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Carnivorous sponges?? That might be really bad news for some women...
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

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