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New species

New species of squid identified, described

Oxford, England -- A new species of large squid with light-producing organs it uses to attract prey has been discovered in the Indian Ocean, a U.K. researcher says.

The almost 3-foot-long specimen, a member of the chiroteuthid family, was found during analysis of more than 7,000 biological samples gathered during a cruise organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Switzerland, the BBC reported Monday.

The six-month cruise was undertaken to unveil the mysteries of sea mounts -- undersea mountain ranges -- in the southern Indian Ocean.

Scientists conclude 10-year marine census

Washington -- A decade-long Census of Marine Life by 2,700 scientists from 80 countries has been completed and revealed thousands of new species, its U.S. founders say.

The initiative launched 570 expeditions that produced more than 2,600 academic papers and collected 30 million observations of 120,000 species. Researchers found a possible 6,000 new species, 1,200 of which have been formally described, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The project has "defined what is unknown" about the ocean and shed light on how it functions, said Jesse Ausubel, program director for the funding Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the vice president of the census.

New species of microbe in Gulf degrading oil faster--study

As per a study released on Tuesday by the researchers of California Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a new species of microbe found in the undersea waters of Gulf of Mexico is degrading oil faster at the deeper and colder depths.

Scientists: Giant lizards are new species

Washington -- Giant Philippine lizards, unknown to science until now, have been identified by DNA and other distinct features as a new species, scientists announced.

Long known to local Filipino tribes, the 6-foot long lizards are closely related to the world's biggest reptile, the Komodo dragon, National Geographic News reported Wednesday.

The discovery and identification of Varanus bitatawa "comes as an unprecedented surprise," a study published in the journal Biology Letters said, because the lizards' home island of Luzon is "heavily populated and highly deforested."

They probably escaped scientific detection, experts say, because reptile surveys of the mountain forests where they live have been few and far between.

Tiny fossils offer clues to new species

Richfield, Utah -- Tiny fossilized jaw bones found in Richfield, Utah, helped identify two new rodent species from as far back as 8 million years ago, a paleontologist says.

Utah Geological Survey paleontologist Don DeBlieux said the small fossils found by Jeff Roberts and his wife Denise were from a prehistorical era in Utah that previously offered few fossils to researchers, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

DeBlieux said in a report published last month the pristine condition of the fossils was particularly helpful in linking the bones to two previously unknown species of rodents.

"It's pretty significant," DeBlieux of Roberts' discovery several years ago.

Calif. academy new species list released

San Francisco -- California Academy of Sciences researchers say they discovered 94 new species this year, including 65 arthropods, 14 plants, eight fishes and five sea slugs.

Academy researchers said their findings, published in 29 different scientific papers, add to the record of life on Earth and will inform future studies on biodiversity, evolution, and conservation.