US aquarium showcases newly discovered species

Los Angeles, May 25 (IANS/EFE) Danny Muñoz, a marine biologist at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, is part of the team behind an exhibit of more than a dozen newly discovered species for the facility’s new Wonders of the Deep gallery.

“To explore the oceans from where these little creatures come is important, because besides finding many food sources, there could be many medicines that humanity needs to eradicate illnesses which currently cannot be cured,” Muñoz told EFE.

“I take care of the Trapezia crabs on the coral in the exhibit that are found in the Pacific … from Australia to Indonesia … but the crabs we have in the aquarium are specifically from the Fiji islands,” the biologist said.

Besides the crabs, the Wonders of the Deep gallery features luminescent fish and other creatures from the depths of the Mariana trench.

“There is a symbiotic relationship between my crabs and the coral, because if there’s a starfish or some other creature that wants to eat the coral, the crab defends it,” Muñoz said.

While the coral, he added, secretes “a kind of sap that is a source of nutrients for the crab.

“Almost 95 percent of the ocean remains unexplored and these little creatures are from those places such as the trench, where only two or three people have been able to go, and the little we know has been explored with robots,” the biologist said.



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