Scientists find new squid in Indian Ocean depths

Nov 15, 2010

Scientists have uncovered a new large species of squid among 70 types gathered during an exploration of the depths of the Indian Ocean, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature said on Monday.

The 70 centimetre (27 inches) long new species is part of the "chiroteuthid" family with light emitting organs that attract prey in the darkness thousands of metres (feet) down close to the craggy , the IUCN said.

The six-week "Seamounts cruise" last year trawled about 7,000 samples of lifeforms in the southern Indian from depths of up to 1,200 metres (3,936 feet).

"For 10 days now, 21 scientists armed with microscopes have been working through intimidating rows of jars containing fishes, squids, zooplankton and other interesting creatures," said Alex Rogers, marine biologist at the Zoological Society of London.

The cruise was aimed at exploring seamounts in an attempt to help improve conservation and management of marine resources in the area.

"We're hoping to have the ecological results in 12 to 18 months," Rogers told AFP.

Rarely sighted Colossal and Giant are thought to range above 10 metres (32.8 feet) in length.

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