Fifty new marine species, including this epaulette shark that "walks" on its fins, were recently discovered by a team of scientists in northwest Indonesia's Papua province.
(Read full coverage: "'Walking' Sharks Among 50 New Species Found in Indonesia Reefs"
Led by Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Conservation International, the team surveyed two sites in the Bird's Head Seascape regiona 70,000-square-mile (112,650-square-kilometer) area that is home to more than 1,200 types of reef fishes and around 600 coral species. The 50 new, or believed to be new, species include 24 fishes, 20 corals, and 8 mantis shrimps.
Among the fishes, scientists discovered two new species of epaulette sharks, so named for the distinguishing spots above their pectoral fins, which the animals use to prowl along the seafloor. Additional discoveries include several new species of flasher wrasses, fairy basslets, damselfishes, and a type of jawfish.
The scientists recorded a total of 1,233 species of coral reef fishes in the region, lending support to the belief that it is the Earth's most abundant seascape.
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Photograph ) Gerry Allen