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One hundred new marine species had been discovered by American scientists during their underwater expedition. Scientists from California Academy of Sciences published an article of their discoveries from the recently held multi-year exploration on the Coral Triangle's biological treasures.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says that Coral Triangle is the marine area that can be located in the western Pacific Ocean including the marine waters of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands.

With the funds from the National Science Foundation, the academy conducted a seven week marine studies and collected mass marine specimens which includes colorful, rare and new species of barnacles, sea slugs, and delicate heart urchins, and others. These samples are expected to be studied in months.

Mysterious animals had been also collected from dimly lit reefs for the Academy's Steinhart Aquarium exhibit. Accoding to Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, Terry Gosliner, PhD of California Academy of Sciences, the Philippines has vast variety of diverse and threatened species.

Principal Investigator of the expedition shared that the country has rich biodiversity yet was still unknown. The studies recently held were expected to help the country take care of its biodiversity. The expedition focused in Verde Island Passage located between Mindoro and the island of Luzon.

Colorful Sea Slugs
Gosliner also shared that Verde Island Passage has a vast diversity of marine habitats. It is a place perfect to find new species of sea slugs. Around 40 new species of vibrant see slugs called nudibranchs had ben discovered. These are known to be poisonous. Many of them were also discovered in Puerto Galera.
100 New Marine Species had been Discovered in Philippines by American Scientists
Gosliner voiced that the coral reefs had been remarkable as many were new to science. It was like a treat as it was the most exciting dive he had done in his long time career. Aside from the newly discovered species, the team was also able to add more information on the recently discovered species in 2011. They were able to find out how some species lay eggs. New species of soft heart urchin were also discovered.
100 New Marine Species had been Discovered in Philippines by American Scientists
Academy Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology, Rich Mooi shared that Philippines is a special place. He said that in 2014, they were able to find internal skeletons for the new species of heart urchin which could be up to the size of a fist. He shared that he thought they would never be able to find a living specimen such as the one they found.
100 New Marine Species had been Discovered in Philippines by American Scientists
Working with the locals of the Philippines also proved to be very important to help sustain the said biodiversity.
100 New Marine Species had been Discovered in Philippines by American Scientists
With the expedition, the academy also plans to have a  Twilight Zone aquarium exhibit, that aims to showcase specimens from the deeper parts of the marine waters. Steinhart Aquarium Director Bart Shepherd shared that more people were able to set foot on the moon that dived in what they call the twilight zone.
100 New Marine Species had been Discovered in Philippines by American Scientists
Most of the specimens were new discoveries that they even needed to have a custom built decompression chamber to transport the fishes safely to the surface. 15 species will be highlighted together with multi-colored ctenophores, known as "comb jellies" which were collected from the depth of 280 feet.
100 New Marine Species had been Discovered in Philippines by American Scientists
Working with Philippine Experts
The academy also aims to work with their partners and colleagues in the Philippines. There were 17 colleagues from the Philippines who worked with the team of the academy.

Gosliner explained that the academy does not only wants to study and leave, they also want to work with the global communities to make effective management strategies. Sustaining ecosystems are important and locals play a big role in it as they live and make a living in the places of vast biodiversities.


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