Hundreds of new species in Philippines

2011-06-29 18:17

Manila - Lobsters without shells and a small shark that bulks up with water to scare off predators are among hundreds of potential new species found in the Philippines, according to a US-led biodiversity survey.

The California Academy of Sciences said it discovered more than 300 previously unknown animals and plants during a recent 42-day marine and land survey of the vast but ecologically threatened Southeast Asian archipelago.

"The Philippines is one of the hottest of the hot spots for diverse and threatened life on Earth," expedition leader Terrence Gosliner said in statement on the academy's website posted this week.

"Despite this designation, however, the biodiversity here is still relatively unknown, and we found new species during nearly every dive and hike as we surveyed the country’s reefs, rainforests, and the ocean floor."

Their notable finds included a deep-sea shark that swells its size by filling its stomach with water to scare off other predators, and a starfish that eats only driftwood.

They also found three new lobster relatives, a crab with pincers lined with needle-like teeth, and a worm-like pipefish hiding among soft-coral colonies.

Many of these avoided previous detection because they were too small, including goblin spiders, sea slugs and barnacles, the statement said.

Others existed in places rarely, if ever, visited by humans, such as a snake eel from the ocean floor and a primitive spikemoss from the dangerously steep upper slopes of the 1 976m Mount Isarog.

The statement was an update of the group's announcement in Manila on June 8 immediately after finishing the survey, when it said it had found about 75 potential new species including a cicada that made a "laughing" call.

No reason was given this week for the sharp jump in potential species found.

But the group said on June 8 that it was still studying the collected samples, comparing them with existing literature.

It said it would have a definite number of confirmed newly discovered species "over the coming months", as scientists completed DNA studies.

The finds add weight to the idea that Philippine waters possibly house more species than any other marine environment on earth, the academy statement said.

It urged Philippine conservators to set up or expand marine protected areas and curb plastic rubbish that litters the ocean floor.

It said many of the current supposedly protected ecosystems were mere "paper parks" that lacked any means to stop logging and hunting.

Read more on:    philippines  |  conservation  |  animals  |  marine life
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.