Friday, September 03, 2010

Hitchhiking Anemone

Photograph courtesy INDEX-SATAL/NOAA

A sea anemone hitches a ride on a hermit crab in one of the "rare and exciting" new pictures released last week by a joint Indonesian-U.S. ocean expedition.

Taken near the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (map), the high-definition, "never-before-seen views of seascapes and colorful, fascinating marine animals" were captured by a remotely operated vehicle aboard the expedition's U.S. ship Okeanos Explorer.

The ROV conducted 27 dives between 800 feet (240 meters) and 2 miles (3.2 kilometers), spotting at least 40 species that might be unknown to science, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

(See pictures of a giant undersea volcano released by the project team in June.)

The first in a multiyear partnership between NOAA and the Indonesian Ministry for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, the approximately two-month expedition was meant to document Indonesia's sea life and to learn more about resolving ocean problems, such as acidification and overfishing. (Read about ten things you do can do save the ocean.)

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