when it discovers a floating city of gonads:
Tasmanian scientists have discovered a new species of jellyfish in Hobart's River Derwent and given it a sexy name.
The species is only a few millimetres wide and scientists say it looks like a flying saucer with a cluster of gonads, or sex organs, on top.
Scientists discovered the jellyfish while surveying the waters outside the CSIRO in Hobart.
The new species has been named Csiromedusa medeopolis, meaning "jellyfish from CSIRO" and "city of gonads".
Launceston jellyfish expert Lisa-Ann Gershwin says it is an astounding discovery.
"It's absolutely different from every other jellyfish that's ever been known," Dr Gershwin said.
"So we not only put it into its own new species and its own new genus, but it's actually a brand new family."
Dr Gershwin says the find is also tremendously exciting.
Behold the medeopolis!
with sex organs worn like a crown
as it swims ‘round and ‘round.
A veritable gonad metropolis!
In other equally astounding news, National Geographic reports that a huge collaboration of scientist from around the globe has revealed a spectacular abundance of oceanic microbial life that has never been seen before. These microbial "aliens" form mats on the sea floor off the west coast of South America. "These mats rank among Earth’s largest masses of life, and cover a surface comparable in size to Greece."
Our planet depends on these creatures.
According to the NatGeo article:
"...the microbes actually play a really key role in the way that nutrients move through the ocean. And if they weren’t there the ocean would shut down very quickly, the planet would shut down very quickly. [skip] Amazingly, Census of Marine Life estimates that all microbes in the global ocean collectively weigh the equivalent of 240 billion African elephants!"
This brings the disaster in the Gulf painfully into focus and illustrates how easily we humans, in our ignorance and greed, could truly destroy our precious environment--and ourselves.