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The curious sea cucumber ‘Enypniastes eximia’ has not been observed so far in southern waters.
It sounds repetitive but the seabed hides a biological variety that is as impressive as it is unknown to most humans. The Enypniastes eximia, for example, is a sea cucumber about 25 centimetres long that the scientific community has known for more than a century but that surprises millions of people every time it appears in a photograph or video.
It helps a lot that this distant relative of the starfish has such a singular aspect that it has been known for decades as a headless chicken monster.
Scientists from the Antarctic Division of the Ministry of environment and energy of Australia have developed a new technology of underwater camera that has allowed, among other advances, capture for the first time the presence of Enypniastes eximia in the depths of the Southern Ocean, compared to East Antarctica
The unusual creature, which has only been filmed before in the Gulf of Mexico, was discovered using an underwater camera system developed for commercial longline fishing by the Australian Antarctic Division. The leader of this project, Dirk Welsford, explained that the new cameras are getting important data for the study of marine life in this area managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
“Some of the images that we are recovering from the cameras are impressive, including the species we have never seen in this part of the world.” The data collected with the help of these cameras will be presented at the annual CCAMLR meeting that begins on Monday, October 22, in Hobart, Australia.
The holothurians or holoturoideos -class to which the Enypniastes eximia belongs- are marine animals known popularly as sea cucumber, cucumber, sea cairn or sea cucumber. Scientists have cataloged some 1,400 different species of these animals that inhabit the Earth since about 400 million years ago.
Source: La Vanguardia