A Handful of Biodiversity
Fitting nine of anything on two fingers is impressive. These gastropods and echinoderms are a teeny-tiny sample of the ocean’s biodiversity. The Census of Marine Life estimates that there are at least one million species of plants and animals in the sea. Most of have not been described. The nine animals in this photo were collected by Smithsonian researchers in the southern Caribbean, near Curaçao. The scientists are part of the Deep Reef Observation Project and trying to better understand, explore and monitor the biodiversity of deep reefs.
(photo and text via: Smithsonian Ocean Portal)