New species discovered in the Gulf of California

Published on 11/22/2021

New species in the Gulf of California

Tube worms discovered during a scouting dive at a depth of 650 meters. Photo: Rov Subastian / Schmidt Ocean Institute / dpa

Source: dpa-infocom GmbH

Researchers have been studying the Gulf of California for three years. With a diving robot they made two new finds during an expedition.

La Paz (dpa) – Researchers from Mexico and the USA have discovered new hydrothermal springs and previously unknown animal species in the Gulf of California.

With a diving robot, the scientists took pictures of the sea floor and of iridescent blue scale worms, as announced by the Schmidt Ocean Institute.

The hydrothermal springs emit liquids at temperatures of up to 287 degrees. While in other regions the liquids are often dark and the sources are therefore called black smokers, they are im Golf of California transparent, report the researchers. They took samples to analyze the chemical composition of the liquid. They also want to find out whether the hydrothermal springs are connected to one another or whether they feed independently of one another from individual cracks in the earth’s crust.

On the expedition with the research vessel “Falkor”, the scientists discovered at least six possibly previously unknown species, including many bristles, arrow worms, Crabs and mollusks.

In the past three years, the scientists explored nearly 20,000 square kilometers of the Gulf of California. That corresponds to around an eighth of the total area. “Studying the relatively rapid rate at which the Gulf of California forms increases our knowledge of how the continental margins form – the places where most people live today,” said Ronald Spelz-Madero of the Independent University from Baja California.

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© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211121-99-82841 / 2

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