Census of Marine Life reveals extent of ocean mystery

THE first global picture of life in the oceans has been sketched, with the completion of the decade-long Census of Marine Life. But despite its 2700 scientists spending over 9000 days at sea, the exercise has only scratched the surface. In total, just 250,000 marine species have been described, out of the 1 million thought to exist. “There are three to four unknown species for every known,” says Paul Snelgrove of Memorial University of Newfoundland in St John’s, Canada. So far 1200 new species have been identified, including Ceratonotus steiningeri (left),
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