Hogan's Alley

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Extraordinary New Species

From “The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss” by Claire Nouvian/Steven Haddock

The peculiar looking creature pictured above is an as yet unidentified deep sea creature. Today's Times has a fascinating piece on the discoveries of never before seen sea creatures. It is worth looking at, if just for the pictures, which look nothing so much like the work of the creature makers at Industrial Light and Magic.

This should serve as a reminder of how little we truly know about our own planet, much less the universe. In a marvelous book called, "A Short History Of Nearly Everything", Bill Bryson covers all that is known about the origins of the universe, the formation of the Earth and the development of life on our planet, all based on sound science that is made clear for a non-scientific audience. In this book Bryson sites estimates that we have probably discovered only half of all the species that inhabit the earth. That deep in the seas and the jungles and the other places man doesn't inhabit, there are hundreds of thousands of uncounted and unknown lifeforms.

A balanced view of the planet needs to take this into account against the occasional alarms about the loss of known species.

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