Among the specimens collected were spindle-shaped sea stars, tulip-shaped sea sponges, sea urchins, as well as many marine invertebrates.
During their recent study in the Central Pacific, one of the world's least explored regions, scientists discovered 39 species that are potentially new to science, writes the Daily Mail.
A remotely operated uninhabited underwater vehicle (ROV) made it possible to bring to the surface samples collected from the abyssal plains of the Clarion-Clipperton zone in the central Pacific Ocean. This allowed scientists to gain a much better understanding of organisms living at depths of 3,100 to 5,100 meters below sea level.
Previously, animals from this area were studied only from photographs of the ocean floor. Remarkably, 48 of the 55 discovered specimens were of different species, and only 9 of the 48 were known to science.
Much of life on the ocean floor is a mystery to scientists because it is very difficult to get to.
Specimens collected included spindle-shaped starfish, tulip-shaped sea sponges, sea urchins, as well as many marine invertebrates. One of the recently discovered deep-sea species is Psychropotes longicauda from the class of holothurians (or sea cucumbers, or sea pods).
“Unfortunately, without samples and DNA data that these creatures contain, we cannot correctly identify them and understand how many different species there are. Therefore more research is needed,” the scientists noted.
The team also collected small animals anchored to sediment or attached to solid substrate, such as sea anemones, sea ducks, sea lilies and glass sponges over a meter long.< /p>
“Despite what we know, tiny millimeter-sized creatures (macrofauna) are extremely diverse in the abyss, there weren't many of us about information about larger animals (megafauna). But as the results of our study show, this group can also be very diverse,” the experts concluded.