"An astounding batch of new deep-sea discoveries, from strange shark behavior to gigantic bacteria, was announced today by an international group of 2,000 scientists from 82 nations.
The Census of Marine Life is a 10-year project to determine what's down there. Among the new findings:
A large proportion of deep sea octopus species worldwide evolved from common ancestor species that still exist in the Southern Ocean. Octopuses started migrating to new ocean basins more than 30 million years ago when, as Antarctica cooled and a large icesheet grew, nature created a "thermohaline expressway," a northbound flow of tasty frigid water with high salt and oxygen content. Isolated in new habitat conditions, many different species evolved; some octopuses, for example, losing their defensive ink sacs - pointless at perpetually dark depths.
The finding will be reported Nov. 11 in the journal Cladistics.
Scientists also discovered what they're calling a White Shark Cafe: Satellite tags revealed a previously unknown behavior of white sharks traveling long distances each winter to concentrate in the Pacific for up to six months. During these months, both males and females make frequent, repetitive dives to depths of 300 yards, which researchers theorize may be significant in either feeding or reproduction.
In the eastern South Pacific, researchers found a diverse set of giant, filamentous, multi-cellular marine bacteria. They may be "living fossils" that developed in the earliest ocean when oxygen was either absent or much diminished, living on the toxic gas hydrogen sulfide, the scientists said.
Another survey found frequent examples of gigantism common in Antarctic waters. The researchers collected huge scaly worms, giant crustaceans, starfish and sea spiders as big as dinner plates."
Informação retirada de: LiveScience.com