A completely new group of sponges has been discovered, in deep sea ecosystem targeted for mining.

Main report: Discovery of a new group of sponges could help measure impact of deep-sea mining
(Science Daily)
Other Reporting: Science News
Scientific Paper: Systematics & Biodiversity   
New Taxa: Plenaster craigi, Plenaster
Species named for: Prof Craig Smith of the University of Hawaii., Plenaster, for abundant stars inside the sponges' bodies
Categories: Invertebrates | New Species

A completely new group of sponges has been discovered, which scientists believe could be a key indicator species in measuring future mining impact in a region targeted for deep-sea mining of polymetallic (metal-rich) nodules. They are likely to be the most abundant nodule-dwelling animal in the area.  See also ecosystem targeted for deep sea mining.

Plenaster craigi. Credit: Adrian Glover, Thomas Dahlgren, Helena Wiklund

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