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The Description of New Species

Many hundreds of species have been discovered by CeDAMar specialists that have never been seen before by anybody. To reduce the lack of formal species descriptions, a hindrance for deep-sea taxonomist, one major objective of CeDAMar is describe 500 most common abyssal deep-sea species by 2010.

Descriptions are as important for biologists working in taxonomy and other disciplines as they are time consuming. They involve a formalised text, drawings illustrating relevant morphological characters, and study of the literature and comparison with type material from closely resembling species already known. Nonetheless, we are well on our way, with more than 230 species descriptions already published. They include animals from tiny meiofauna to fish and many of them are named after the expeditions or ships on which they were discovered, like Eudorella divae, Kliopsyllus andeep, Dichromadora polarsternis and Saetoniscus meteori.

While there are many species to choose from for each taxonomic group, it was agreed that the focus should be on species that are common or at least seem to play a key role in the community from which they were caught.  

Our ambitious goal of describing 500 new abyssal species by 2010 is coming closer, but so is the deadline for completion! Check regularly for the status and consider how you could contribute to reaching this goal

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