New underwater amazements from the Census of Marine Life

Via LiveScience, this report:

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.

At their meeting in Spain this week, COML researchers will be reporting hundreds of discoveries from their most recent census projects, such as:

+ the ancestor of many deep-sea octopus species, still living in the Southern Ocean — and an octopus “expressway” in the deep sea off Antarctica
+ at least 85 new species of zooplankton
+ a fascinating shark behavior in the Pacific

Download the Highlights Report — full of jaw-dropping photos, news and art from the sea. Select the “Highlights Report with live links to press releases, photo galleries, video, etc. (PDF, 4.2 MB).”

Last month, COML researcher Sylvia Earle won the 2009 TED Prize, along with SETI’s Jill Cornell Tarter and maestro José Antonio Abreu.