Inflatable Shark, Laughing Cicada: New Species Discovered in Philippines
A group of 31 scientists that recently conducted a 42-day expedition in Luzon discovered 300 new land and marine species, a few of which include a worm-like pipefish and an inflatable shark – nicknamed for it’s ability to puff it self up by pumping water into its stomach in the face of danger.
A report on LiveScience.com said the team found dozens of new insects and spiders, more than 50 colorful new sea slugs, and a number of deep-sea corals that protect themselves from nibbling fish by growing large, spiky plates. Other notable new species include a cicada that makes a “laughing call” and a crab equipped with pincers lined with needle-like teeth.
“We saw at least 30 new species of barnacles; more than 50 new species of nudibranchs (sea slugs); 45 sea urchins and sand dollars, six of which have never been recorded in the Philippines, one or two probably new; one new species of eel; and one new pipe fish,” reported Terrence Gosliner, the CAS dean of Science and Research Collections and leader of the expedition’s shallow water team.
The scientists will present their preliminary results tomorrow, June 30, during the California Academy of Sciences’ weekly NightLife event.
“We are hoping the findings will result in recommendations that will translate into policies that will produce a more sustainable future for Filipinos while simultaneously protecting the unique biodiversity.”