CenSeam researcher Bertrand Richer de Forges talks about this new discovery:
"It's a new species of the genus Neoglyphea. The Glypheides were well known from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and were supposed to be extinct at the Eocene (about 50 million years ago).
In 1906, the US research vessel "Albatross" caught one live specimen in the Philippines. But nobody recognized it and for 60 years the specimen stayed in the National Museum of Washington. In 1975, two French scientists, J. Forest and Michele de Saint Laurent, discovered this specimen and described it as a fantastic discovery. In fact, the Glypheids were supposed to be the ancestors of all the decapod crustacea.
As soon as possible, in 1976, an oceanographic cruise was organized with a small French research vessel "Vauban" to return to the Philippines. It was a great success and they caught 9 specimens of this "living fossil". It was then possible to publish a detailed description of the animals, and to formulate some phylogenetic hypotheses based on fossil comparisons.
In 1980 and 1985 2 other cruises were carried out in the same area onboard the "Coriolis" - another French vessel, enabling the collection of more specimens including an adult female. In total, 13 specimens of this very rare Neoglyphea inopinata (Forest & de Saint Laurent, 1975) were discovered. In 1985 and 1986, 2 specimens of this species were caught by an Australian commercial trawler in the Arafura Sea.
In October 2005, I conducted an oceanographic cruise (EBISCO) onboard the R.V. "Alis" on the lineament of seamounts below the Chesterfield Islands, on the edge of the Lord Howe Rise. This cruise was devoted to the study of isolation and endemism on the seamounts. After 2 days, trawling on the Capel Bank (about 25°S) at 400 m, we got a strange shrimp...It was a new species of the genus Neoglyphea!
For invertebrate scientists this is equivalent to the discovery of the second species of coelacanth in Indonesia some years ago. Immediately we sent a photo (by email) to my excellent colleagues A. Crosnier in Paris and P.K.L. Ng in Singapore...some hours later they confirmed the identification."
‘Living fossil’ found in Coral Sea
Shrimplike creature was thought to have gone extinct 60 million years ago
Updated: 6:51 p.m. ET May 19, 2006
PARIS - French scientists who explored the Coral Sea said Friday they discovered a new species of crustacean that was thought to have become extinct 60 million years ago.
The "living fossil," a female designated Neoglyphea neocaledonica, was discovered 1,312 feet (400 meters) under water during an expedition in the Chesterfield Islands, northwest of New Caledonia, the National Museum of Natural History and the Research Institute for Development said in a statement.
Another so-called living fossil from the Neoglyphea group was discovered in 1908 in the Philippines by the U.S. Albatross, a research vessel. It remained unidentified until 1975, when two French scientists from the natural history museum identified and named it Neoglyphea inopinata. More of the creatures were then found in expeditions to the Philippines between 1976 and 1984.
In October, marine biologist Philippe Bouchet and Bertrand Richer De Forges found the new species of the same living fossil group while trolling an undersea plateau in a remote area between Australia and New Caledonia.
Bouchet, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, described the nearly 5-inch (12-centimeter) creature as "halfway between a shrimp and a mud lobster." Its huge eyes, reddish spots and thickset body distinguished it from the 1908 crustacean.
The huge eyes suggest that light plays a role in the behavior of the creature, which could actively hunt prey, Bouchet said.
With the Coral Sea discovery, "the group is less completely extinct than was thought," he said.
Beyond the intrinsic value of the discovery, the marine biologist said he had been working in the region for two decades before coming across the elusive creature, underscoring that "there are places on this planet incredibly remote and little explored."
The discovery "conveys a message that, in the first years of the 21st century, the exploration of planet Earth is not over," Bouchet said.
All: I wasn't sure where to post this, but this seemed like as good a spot as any.
50 million years ago...
60 million years ago...
They're not dead yet.
"In fact, the Glypheids were supposed to be the ancestors of all the decapod crustacea."(first article posted above)
"Bouchet, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, described the nearly 5-inch (12-centimeter) creature as "halfway between a shrimp and a mud lobster.""(second article posted above)
Do we presently have "shrimp" and "mud lobsters"? Had this "living fossil" been discovered when it was "dead", would this have been dubbed a so-called "transitional fossil"?