Giant, Unknown Animals Found off Antarctica

Giant, Unknown Animals Found off Antarctica
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Collected from the Ross Sea shelf in southern Antarctica, this 9.8-inch-long (25-centimeter-long) giant sea spider was one of 30,000 animals found during a 35-day census in early 2008.

The marine arachnids, which prey on hydroids and bryzoans—branching, coral-like animals—are larger and more common in Antarctic waters than anywhere else on Earth.

Cold temperatures, few predators, and high levels of oxygen in seawater could explain their gargantuan size, Don Robertson of New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research told the Associated Press.

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—Photograph by Peter McMillan/NZ IPY-CAML
 
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