Hmmm. They’re saying Antarctica has more species than Galapagos. That’s pretty cool. Seriously. Antarctica is really on the cool side, minus many more degrees. How in the world were they able to learn about all those species without freezing to death?
I have only admiration for anyone who is hardy enough to work on or near Antarctica. I imagine it is an amazing experience, one that puts a person almost in the same category as astronauts, living a life the rest of us can only imagine and few will ever have the opportunity to attempt.
I was kidding about preferring to scuba dive in the warmer waters. That was before I realized they really DID scuba dive to do this inventory! How did they do this? Obviously, I’m missing something in this story. It must have to do with the location. Maybe the Antarctic Peninsula is not as cold as Antarctica. I don’t know. Both sound cold to me.
I think I’ll put on another blanket while I finish reading the article!
Here’s how it starts:
Antarctica Has More Species than Galapagos
LiveScience.com livescience Staff Tue Dec 2, 4:46 pm ETIslands around the Antarctic Peninsula have more known species than the Galapagos Islands and many temperate and tropical regions, a new inventory at the polar region reveals.A team of 23 scientists from five research institutes, including team members from the British Antarctic Survey, undertook the first comprehensive inventory of sea and land animals around the South Orkney Islands, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. They used scuba divers and trawl nets to catch creatures from as deep as nearly a mile down (1,500 meters).The inventory turned up sea urchins, free-swimming worms, crustaceans and mollusks, mites and birds, including five new species (of bryozoans, more commonly known as sea moss, and isopods, the marine equivalents of wood-lice) to science.
To arrive at the inventory, animals were recorded and then checked against a century of literature and modern databases. The team concluded there are more than 1,224 species in total at this Antarctic locale. Of these, nearly a third were new to the area, such as three octopuses, four snails, five sea urchins, and one sea star, to name a few.