Bizarre Antarctic Sea Life Found

New species discovered just as they're threatened by global warming
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2008 10:51 AM CST

A host of bizarre giant creatures lurk in the little-known waters of Antarctica, the Daily Telegraph reports. Thousands of specimens have been gathered by a mission to study Antarctic marine life before it is wiped out—including giant sea spiders the size of dinner plates, huge sea worms, and mammoth jellyfish. "I was staggered by the size of things," said an expedition leader.

Scientists expect to find many previously unknown species, as freezing temps mean Antarctic sea life has evolved in isolation for millions of years. The soft-bodied, slow-moving invertebrates of the Antarctic sea bed resemble life in ancient oceans before shell-crushing predators evolved. But these unique creatures could now be threatened as the oceans warm, and crabs and sharks move in. (Read more Antarctica stories.)

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