New species were revealed by scientists deep underwater, at ‘Dragon’s Breath.’ Rare snails, deep-sea worms, and hairy-chested crabs were among many species discovered in the Indian Ocean. On December 15, a team of researchers from the University of Southampton has announced revealing six new species of underwater creatures after analyzing the hot springs of Longqi also known as ‘Dragon’s Breath.’
- A team of researchers required underwater mining activities to be stopped.
- They need to analyze the habitat of the new species revealed there.
- Six more species were found in the Indian Ocean at ‘Dragon’s Breath.’
These undersea hot springs are situated at approximately 1.7 miles under the surface of the ocean and at about 1,200 miles southeast of Madagascar. The team of researchers was conducted by Jon Copley. They have carefully studied more than twelve hydrothermal vents. Some of these spires reach two stories above the ocean floor, producing minerals and hot fluids.
The water rich in minerals which spring out of the vent chimneys transform the area into the perfect habitat for several species of sea creatures, but also an ideal area for mining gold and copper. Dr. Copley together with his team of researchers argued that the mining activities in the area need to be stopped until scientists manage to establish more about the vent chimneys and the creature there.
He also stated that the outcome of their work underlines the need to study other spires located in the southwest the Indian Ocean, finding a connection between the species living there. They need to analyze them before mineral exploration practices harm their habitat.
During their study, researchers had also discovered many species which live at other spires sites, at thousands of miles away in the Pacific and Antarctic. The team asserted that they had found six new species which might have a wider range. Copley stated that the species revealed by them could indeed be found living some other places, as they probably have migrated to this area from other sites.
They cannot establish for sure from where they migrated, where they are heading to or if they are even connected with some other populations found at different sites like Longqi. The International Seabed Authority, the corporation responsible for releasing contracts to businesses interested in mining underwater, is aware of their duty to protect and prevent damages to the fauna and flora of the marine environment.
The ISA has asked contractors to collect environmental baseline information at every step of the exploration process to protect the biodiversity of these areas.
Image source: wikipedia