November 24, 2008--
Even on tiny remote islands, scientists can find an impressive array of life.
During the Santo 2006 biodiversity survey in Vanuatu
, 153 scientists from 20 countries fanned out across the remote South Pacific island of Espiritu Santo, examining mountains, forests, caves, reefs, and water for all living organisms.
In five months, they collected 10,000 species. Some 2,000 of these may be new to science.
This squat lobster, found in waters 150 meters (492 feet) deep, is one of the new species. Eighty percent of the world's species remain to be discovered, notes French scientist Philippe Bouchet, one of the expedition's leaders.
Photograph by Dr Tin-Yam Chan, University of Keelung