Researchers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Memorial University of Newfoundland took part in an exciting survey of unexplored depths of the Atlantic Ocean during a three-week mission in July 2007. Deep water corals were a primary focus of the research.
Researchers onboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Hudson surveyed deep water animal life off the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland using an underwater robot known as ROPOS (Remotely Operated Platform for Ocean Science). With ROPOS, they collected samples and images at depths of 2,500 metres; and transmitted live underwater video footage to researchers at various land locations.
The mission revealed that life in these waters is much more diverse than previously realized. Researchers captured over 3,000 high quality photographs that displayed this diversity, including an octopus with large fins near its eyes, known as "Dumbo," a potentially new species of scallop, and a single-celled organism previously unknown in this region.
Research based on the mission’s findings will continue for the next year at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and its partner universities. The role of the newly discovered species in the marine food chain will be one of the prime areas of study; findings could also have implications for conservation efforts and medicine.
More images are available at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/infocus/2007/20070926/albumphoto_e.htm
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