LONDON, Oct. 3 (UPI) — The oceans hold far more biodiversity than imagined, with as many as a million species, a global network of scientists says in London.
The first Census of Marine Life, which is being published Monday, says almost 250,000 marine species have now been identified, and there may be at least another 750,000 waiting to be discovered, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
More than 2,700 scientists from around the world helped carry out the census in more than 540 expeditions over 10 years. They identified more than 6,000 new species.
The discoveries include a blind lobster with a long, spiny, pincer, which lives 330 yards below the surface in the Philippine Sea, and wriggly creatures nicknamed “squidworms.”
British scientists have made many finds in the frigid seas around Antarctica, where marine life grows larger than anywhere else in the world, the report said.
Sea spiders, which rarely grow bigger than a fingernail in British waters, are up to 9 inches across in polar seas.
Huge communities of different species have been found on the cold, lightless ocean floor, living at the mouths of thermal vents and rifts that seep nutrients into the ocean, the report said.
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