A new illustrated guide to marine life in Chilean Patagonia displays the rich diversity of species to be found there.
Researchers discovered around 50 new species of the 473 marine creatures documented in the guide– including new species of fish, corals and sponges.
The book, entitled Benthic Marine Fauna of Chilean Patagonia, is the result of more than 10 years of research conducted by 26 different institutions from 14 countries.
It was led by Vreni Hausermann and Gunter Forsterra from Chile’s San Ignacio de Huinay Foundation. The researchers say the book was desperately needed to improve the knowledge of the area, as lifeforms in the vast Patagonian coastline remains largely unknown.
In fact, Christopher German, senior scientist in Geology, Geophysics and Deep Submergence at the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the U.S., recently said at a conference hosted by Universidad de Concepción that Chile has therichest and most unknown ocean worldwide.
“Although this study focused on the most easily accessible and abundant of the region’s life species, the findings are still remarkably impressive” said Victor Ariel Gallardo, a Universidad de Concepción oceanographer who participated in the study, in the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio. “We found that a lot of species threatened with extinction were more extensively distributed than had previously been known.”
While the book covers just a sampling of the rich biodiversity in the area, it presents new unexpected biodiversity hotspots, according to a foreword to the book written by Gallardo.
For more information go to: www.PatagoniaMarina.info
This post is also available in Spanish