Sunday, 10 October 2010

Census of Marine Life: new species and human impacts

The Census of Marine Life (COML) has just discovered a multitude of new deep-ocean species, proven the overfishing of 90% of the top of the ocean food chain, and traced human impacts back to the time of Christ.One of the creatures, an Asian sea worm, is the kissing cousin of a fossil, hallucigenia, from the Burgess Shale.
The first time geologists reconstructed hallucigenia, they got it upside down. Read the story in Stephen Jay Gould's Wonderful Life (1989).

See Census of Marine Life - intro video on COML and OBIS, species photos and videos
Ocean Biogeographic Info System (OBIS) a scientific database
Wikipedia on the Burgess Shale, maps and mountain views by geologist Stephen Earle, and artists' reconstruction of the fossils, 520 million years old.