Four new species found off Scottish Coast

28 Dec

Volutopsius scotiae, one of four new species found hundreds of miles off the north-west coast of Scotland. Photograph: Marine Scotland Science/PA

Via The Guardian: Marine scientists have hailed the discovery of four new species of sea creature in deep ocean waters off the coast of Scotland.

The new species – a large sea snail, two kinds of clam and a marine worm – were found during Marine Scotland surveys around the Rockall plateau in the north Atlantic. Researchers are particularly excited because they believe the creatures’ home is a “cold seep” vent from which methane and other hydrocarbon gases are bubbling.

Complex habitats based on these gases are believed to build up around cold seeps just as they do around hot hydrothermal vents found in mid-ocean ridges. As a result, researchers now hope to find many other new deep-water species unique to the seabed there.

Four new species found off Scottish coast


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