Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Adventurers! Discovery is still out there.

There was a time when discovery was the hallmark of great science.

Discovering continents, lost islands, and new species.

Today, with the the world pretty well mapped and a dwindling of new species to find, great science has moved on to less Indiana Jones-like fields such as gene expression and conservation.

But there are still finds to be made.

(Image: A new species of butterfly fish, found during deep dives in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Credit: Yannis Papastamatiou/NOAA .)

Simply find a place where nobody's looked, and you're likely to find wonderful things.

In a remote New Guinea jungle recently, scientists found several new species of animals, including a giant long-haired rat. It was found at Mount Bosavi, and is temporarily being called the Bosavi Woolly Rat. More here.

And in Hawaiian waters, intrepid divers using mixed-gas tanks dove to previously unexplored depths in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and found, surprise!, a bunch of new species of fish.

Their project, Deep Reef 2009, took scientists more than 200 feet down—places deeper than divers normally go, yet shallower than submersibles are normally tasked.

And, of course, there was cool stuff. Here is the blog produced during that trip last month.

In addition to several species of fish that were new to science, the researchers found beds of algae filled with numerous young fishes, and they concluded that the deep water habitats may serve as nurseries that replenish shallower water fish populations.

Neat stuff. New stuff.

For the adventurers among us, discoveries are still out there.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2009


Keahi Pelayo said...

My son believes that megaladons still exist in the deepest uncharted parts of the ocean.

Victoria said...

Always interesting Jan! Mahalo for sharing the info and your mana'o!!