PHOTOS: Strange New Species Found on Great Barrier Reef

PHOTOS: Hundreds of New Species Found on Great Barrier Reef
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Not even this small, delicate seaweed species, Caulerpa cupressoides, escaped the notice of scientists cataloging coral reef inhabitants near Heron Island in Australia.

The island was one of three sites recently surveyed by marine experts looking for lesser known reef life as part of the ongoing global Census of Marine Life. Expedition researchers reported in September 2008 that their four-year effort in Australia has yielded hundreds of species that may be new to science.

"Amazingly colorful corals and fishes on reefs have long dazzled divers, but our eyes are just opening to the astonishing richness of other life-forms in these habitats," said Census of Marine Life chief scientist Ron O'Dor.
—Photograph courtesy Gary Cranitch/Queensland Museum/copyright 2008
 
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