Catherine Brahic of the New Scientist reports a very interesting observation made by marine scientists as a result of a census of marine life carried out recently.
“Poles apart, but intimately linked. Of the thousands of species that populate Antarctica and the Arctic, it seems hundreds are “bipolar”: found spanning 11,000 kilometres between the polar regions.”
The slideshow shows 5 of the 235 species believed to be “bipolar”. The 235 species that we believe are found at both poles include a great variety of animals, says Julian Gutt of the Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany. Although this observation is a mystery to the scientists till now, they believe the species might be undertaking this humongous journey in their larval stage.
The article also reports some other interesting but mysterious facts brought forth by the survey.
“Expeditions carried out under the auspices of the Census of Marine Life also revealed that the Antarctic acts as a cold incubator for the rest of the world’s seafloor communities. More than 30 million years ago there was not enough oxygen in the deep ocean to support life. But creatures that live there now had to come from somewhere. As some of the conditions in the deep ocean are similar to those on the continental shelf of Antarctica, it is possible that is where the ancestors of deep ocean species came from.”