At the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, giant unicellular organisms called xenophiophores, previously unknown to the science, live. The study of mysterious giant organisms is carried out by the specialists from the University of Hawaii. They reported that a total of two new genera and four new species of giant unicellular xenophiophores were discovered.
They were found in the depths of the Pacific Ocean as part of the Moana project, where the scientists from the National Center for Oceanography, Great Britain, and the University of Geneva take part.
The scientists described the new species based on the genetic data of the samples that were collected using the Lukai remote-controlled device, that descended to a depth of 20 meters. A professor Andrew Gooday noted that he and his colleagues are pleased to be one of the researchers who managed to discover new types of giant organisms.
They are able to create shells known as tests. In turn, they are formed from various particles that come from the external environment. Such complex designs really have large-scale dimensions - up to 24 centimeters.
The appearance of the new species is stem-shaped, in fact they resemble a flat leaf of a plant and are noteworthy in that they are completely formed from glass spicules of the sponge. In total, four new species increased the number of described xenophiophores by 17%, and most of them have not yet been studied and described in detail.
The scientists believe that the part of the Pacific Ocean where the discovery was made can indeed be the territory of the diversity and diversity of these organisms. On ocean days, they can be of different shapes and completely different sizes. They are unique in that they are important members of biological communities that provide micro-bits and potential food sources for other organisms.