Exciting News: New Species

A newly published paper in PLoS ONE has revealed that two new species have been discovered off the coast of south-east Australia and….AND they may be from a whole new branch on the Tree Of Life! Not fitting into any of the known Animal Kingdom divisions.

How blooming exciting is that!!

There is a newly names genus – Dendrogramma, a newly names family – Dendrogrammatidae and the two new species called D. enigmatica and D. discoids were actually dredged up from the ocean in 1986 and have been fixed in neutral formaldehyde and stored in 80% ethanol since then.

Dendrogramma enigmatica sp. nov., holotype. A, B, lateral views; C, aboral view, D, adoral view. Photographs taken after shrinkage. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102976.g003

Dendrogramma enigmatica sp. nov., holotype. A, B, lateral views; C, aboral view, D, adoral view. Photographs taken after shrinkage. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102976.g003

To find out more new specimens are going to have to be found to enable molecular analysis, tissue and structure analysis as well as DNA as the fixing process has prevented this. A lot of physiological questions remains and new specimens will allow for fuller descriptions of each species to be made so that the proper phylogenetic placement of Dendrogramma can be identified. There is still a long way to go in placing these species but you have to start somewhere!

Don’t you just love new discoveries. It is exciting that there is still so much out there to discover and that there are people still out there doing it!

I’ll leave you will some words from Dr. Jørgen Olesen:

We published this paper in part as a cry for help, there might be somebody out there who can help place it.

So if you are a scientist and you discover any specimens….Get In Touch with the corresponding author – Dr. Jean Just (email: jean-just at mail.dk)

 

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Welcome to the new blog – Making a splash!

It is a wondrous thing to be a marine biologist. I get to work on the ocean (in all conditions, mind you), studying some amazing species. I count myself as one of the lucky ones.

I have started this blog in an attempt to keep track of what is going on in the world of marine sciences, share my experiences as a marine biologist, ramble about my opinion on marine science and conservation and hopefully share some beautiful photography along the way.

I hope that I can provide some insightful information on life as an early career marine biologist and furthermore into what is currently happening in the world of marine biology and conservation.

Humpback Breach Splash (<em>Megaptera novaeangliae</em>)!