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Rare, tiny find in West Australian waters

captured in a sediment trap deployed within an 'upwelling' eddy bringing cold and nutrient-rich deep ocean water to the surface by Dr Stephan Pesant a member of the University of Western Australia team lead by Dr Anya Waite, Centre for Water Research.

The micro zooplankton species is understood to live from depths of 100 to 5000 metres. Its food range extends from ocean algae to tiny shellfish. It consumes prey in the same manner as a spider, remineralising part of the 'ocean snow' and helping to sustain other small forms of marine life.

Ms Paterson has searched the scientific literature and believe this is the first sample to be found in the Southern Hemisphere.

The first sample was recorded during the world's first oceanographic voyage by the British ship Challenger in the 1870's, and then more than a century later, US scientist Dr Neil Swanberg collected 18 specimens down to a depth of 500 metres in one voyage from a submersible in 1986.


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Contact: Craig Macaulay
craig.macaulay@csiro.au
61-36-232-5219
CSIRO Australia
24-Jun-2004


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