Covered in neat rows of tiny hairs, this snail from a submarine volcano deep off Japan is the only known specimen of its species.
Shown in an undated picture, the animal—as yet unnamed—is among the many likely new species announced upon the conclusion of the Census of Marine Life.
(See "Six-hundred-year-Old Worms Among Surprises of Ten-year Sea Survey.")
Prior to its final report, released Monday, the decade-long, globe-spanning inventory of ocean life, had already announced the discovery of roughly 6,000 new species.
The new marine snail, of the Alvinoconcha genus, was collected from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent, a realm of extreme pressure, high temperatures, and eternal darkness. At least part of the animal's diet is obtained via symbiotic microbes living inside its gills.
(See another swimming snail found during Census of Marine Life expeditions.)