BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have studied squat lobsters in four seamounts around ocean trenches in the tropical West Pacific and identified 11 new species.
The squat lobster species exist in great number of diversity in seamount environments, while the fauna around the seamounts of the Yap Trench and Mariana Trench remains largely unknown.
Between 2014 and 2019, the researchers from the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences collected a large number of squat lobster samples when conducting multiple seamount ecological surveys around the waters of the Yap Trench and the Mariana Trench. They found 26 species, with 11 new species ranging from 5 to 20 millimeters in length, according to the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
Five of the species were observed inhabiting at least two seamounts, while four out of these five species inhabited depths greater than 1,200 meters.
The researchers speculated that the deepwater fauna in the study area is more likely to have higher connectivity with each other than the fauna in relatively shallower waters.
The researchers also provided DNA barcode data for three genes to support the taxonomic status of these new species.
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