Skooter reports 11/13/12
In deep ocean waters off California’s Monterey Bay, a new carnivore shaped like a candelabra has been discovered. This species are meat-eating and they dubbed as the “harp sponge” so called because its make up bear a resemblance to a harp or lyre turned on its side.
The sponge was found in 2000 by a team from the Monterey Bay Research Aquarium Institute in Moss Landing, Calif., while traveling around with a remotely operated vehicle. The sponges live nearly 2 miles below the ocean's surface.
Lonny Lundsten, an invertebrate biologist at the research institute and one of the first to see the harp sponge said they were just surprised because no one had ever seen this animal with their own eyes before.
Two sponges were gathered later by researchers and 10 more were video observed. Comparing with other carnivorous sponges Chondrocladia lyra, the sponge’s scientific name was confirmed that they are a new species and bared some interesting insights into the sponge's life cycle. The results of the analysis were published Oct. 18 in the journal Invertebrate Biology.
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