Census of Marine Life Project Releases Preliminary Results

Christmas tree worms (Spirobranchus giganteus) from East Timor. Photo credit: Nick Hobgood/Wikipedia

The Census of Marine Life, a network of researchers in 80 countries spanning 10 years, released preliminary results this week, although final results are not due until October 2010.  Results announced included a recorded 5,722 species living in the extreme ocean depths, waters deeper than 3,280 feet.  Of those deep ocean dwellers, scientists documented 17,650 species living below 656 feet, the point where sunlight ceases.  Researchers have found approximately 5,600 new marine species in addition to the previously 230,000 known species.  Several thousand more species could be added before the final results are released.

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