Monday, February 16, 2009

Polar regions contain identical animals

The Census of Marine Life project, which has looked at both Arctic and Antarctic marine life, and have found a surprisingly large number which appears to live in both places, even though they are at opposite ends of the globe.

According to their press release (full pdf can be found here) researchers found "at least 235 species live in both polar seas". The species they could seems to be quite diverse.

The scientists found marine life that both poles apparently share in common include marathoners such as grey whales ( and birds, but also worms, crustaceans, and angelic snail-like pteropods, the latter discoveries opening a host of future research questions about where they originated and how they wound up at both ends of the Earth. DNA analysis is underway to confirm whether the species are indeed identical.

The census of polar marine life, made during the 2007-2008 Polar Year, have yielded many interesting results, and this newest press release shows us that there are many more to come.

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