New marine animal species discovered in Hawaii

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A purple sea starBy Laura Hastings:

A recent survey conducted in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Marine National Monument has uncovered a trove of new species.

Researchers working on the ‘Census of Coral Reefs‘ project set out in October 2006 to explore the waters around the French Frigate Shoals, a group of atolls in the NWHI National Monument.

New species of purple sea stars, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, reef brachiopods [see also here], coral, and sea squirts were among those documented by the team.

More marine life, in Singapore, here.

Extinct brachiopods: here.

And here.

The tiny Pacific islands nation of Kiribati declared the world’s largest marine protected area Thursday—a California-sized ocean wilderness that includes pristine reefs and eight coral atolls teeming with fish and birds. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area, or PIPA, lies about halfway between Hawaii and Fiji: here.

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