The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research team discovered a new species of ctenophores commonly called as comb jellies with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), during an underwater expedition in Puerto Rico.
According to NOAA, this marked as the first-ever identification of a new species using only high-definition video in 2015. Duobrachium Sparksae, newly named, was located two-and-a-half miles below sea level and was acknowledged immediately as a new species.
Mike Ford and Allen Collins were the scientists who recognized the new ctenophore species, and their findings were recently issued in the journal Plankton and Benthos Research.
The study elaborates that the distinctive species has no obvious link within any existing genus or species and it is new to science. Though the video captured is the only evidence, it is described by its distinguishable features from all other known species of Ctenophora and is hypothesized to an origin of Platyctenida (an order of comb jellies). The species was observed to be attached by two filaments rather than its tentacles, unlike other species of ctenophores. It is assumed to not be very rare, as it was spotted three times in a relatively small area.
"The ctenophore has long tentacles, and we observed some interesting movement. It moved like a hot-air balloon attached to the seafloor on two lines, maintaining a specific altitude above the seafloor. Whether it's attached to the seabed, we're not sure. We did not observe direct attachment during the dive, but it seems like the organism touches the seafloor." Ford said.
Depending upon a ctenophora species, an adult ctenophore usually ranges from a few millimetres to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) in size. Only 100 to 150 species have been validated, and are included in botanical divisions of invertebrate animals that live in marine waters worldwide. Even though a comb jelly and jellyfish look similar, they are not linked.