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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Living Fossil Found In New Caledonia

French scientists who explored the Coral Sea said Friday they discovered a new species of crustacean that was thought to have become extinct 60 million years ago.
The "living fossil," a female baptized Neoglyphea Neocaledonica, was discovered 1,312 feet under water during an expedition in the Chesterfield Islands, northwest of New Caledonia, the National Museum of Natural History and the Research Institute for Development said in a statement.

Another so-called living fossil from the Neoglyphea group was discovered in 1908 in the Philippines by the U.S. Albatross, a research vessel. It remained unidentified until 1975 when two French scientists from the natural history museum identified and named it: Neoglyphea Inopinata. More of the creatures were then found in expeditions to the Philippines between 1976 and 1984.

The discovery "conveys a message that, in the first years of the 21st century, the exploration of planet Earth is not over," Bouchet said.

Visit CenSeam, “a Global Census of Marine Life on Seamounts” for more info.

Watch a 30 sec clip from "Attack of the Crab Monsters":