Calif. academy named 140 species in '11

Dec. 15, 2011 at 8:38 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 140 new relatives to the world family tree of life in 2011, the academy said.

The new species described by more than a dozen academy scientists, working with several dozen international collaborators, include 72 arthropods, 31 sea slugs, 13 fishes, 11 plants, nine sponges, three corals and one reptile, a release from the academy's San Francisco headquarters said Thursday.

The finds were made in six continents -- all except Antarctica -- and in three oceans, the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian, the academy said.

Among the discoveries were four new species of shark, including an African dwarf shark collected from 1,600 feet below the surface off the coast of Mozambique.

Arthropods -- the most numerous species on Earth -- got a boost with the discovery of 43 new species of ants and 20 new species of spiders, researchers said.

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