Identical species survive at poles by riding currents

It's not a fast way to travel, dpa reported.

In fact, it takes several centuries for animals to get from one end of the world to the other.

That's the surprising conclusion by marine scientists, who have found that 235 species are identical in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans even though separated by 11,000 kilometres.

"This is much more than anyone expected," Ron O'Dor, senior scientist for the global Census of Marine Life, told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa.

The highway used by snail-like pteropods, worms and crustaceans consists of huge, very slow-moving icy currents spread over the globe on the bottom layers of the oceans that connect the two poles, biologist Russell Hopcroft told dpa.

O'Dor, a professor at Dalhousie University in Canada, and Hopcroft, a biologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, were part of a team of thousands of researchers who, for eight and a half years, have been collecting data to explain the diversity and distribution of marine life.

The programme is to end in October 2010.

Over the last two years, there was a special focus on the polar regions as part of an extended International Polar Year that started in 2007 and ends in March.

In the Antarctic region alone, samples were collected from 1 million locations.

Finding species capable of living on both poles is the "rebirth of a historic idea," O'Dor said.

Early explorers had drawn pictures of animals from both poles and suggested that they were the same. "But we couldn't be sure whether their drawings were accurate," he said.

In addition, scientists were prejudiced against the idea of the species being exactly the same because of the physical differences between the Antarctic and Arctic.

To begin with, the Antarctic waters are much larger and have a greater range of light exposure than the Arctic.

In addition, the Arctic is fenced in by land mass while the Antarctic waters run free into the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Until this study, scientists believed the only species that could maintain exact identities at the opposite poles were marathoners like grey whales and birds that can travel swiftly.

The real surprise was these small invertebrates - the tiny snails, worms and crab-like species.

None of them can swim very fast by themselves. Generations of them live and die while they are moving from one pole to the other within the icy waters of the currents.

"It is not a high percentage of animals who are capable of living in these remote places," Julian Gutt, a scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, told dpa.

But these very few animals might in the future give scientists new clues about evolution.

Some of the species, which at first were thought to be similar, turned out to be two separate species after analysis of their genetics. This also is giving scientists new insights into how life and the planet developed.

"We can look backwards and find out how long ago those species separated," Hopcroft said. "That can tell us something about how the world was connected."

Polar species were able to live much closer together during the last Ice Age 18,000 to 20,000 years ago, when sheets of ice covered much of the earth and connected the polar regions.

"Ecologically, it might not appear very important that those similar-shaped species are in fact two species," Hopcroft said.

But Hopcroft added that if global warming affects both poles and kills nearly-similar species, "in fact two species - and not one - disappear."

Some of the identical species found both in Arctic and Antarctic waters might prove to in fact be quite cosmopolitan, Hopcroft pointed out.

"It is possible that they not only live on both poles, but that they also live in the deep waters of the oceans," he said.

So far, scientists don't know much yet about those depths.

"We don't have enough samples," Hopcroft said. "The problem is: very few people are willing to spend a lot of time one or two kilometers beyond the surface of the ocean and collect samples."

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
At least 14 civilians mistakenly killed by Indian forces in remote northeast
At least 14 civilians mistakenly killed by Indian forces in remote northeast
Pakistan receives $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia
Pakistan receives $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia
6.1-magnitude earthquake rattles southern Philippines
6.1-magnitude earthquake rattles southern Philippines
Loading Bars
Oil production on Turkmen Cheleken peninsula exceeds planned volume
State Customs Committee discloses TOP-5 trade partners of Azerbaijan
State Customs Committee reveals trade turnover between Azerbaijan and China
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry presents weekly review (VIDEO)
Georgia reports 3,410 coronavirus cases, 4,732 recoveries, 46 deaths
At least 14 civilians mistakenly killed by Indian forces in remote northeast
Iranian currency rates for December 5
Kyrgyzstan confirms 42 new COVID-19 cases
New Year budget to depend on activities’ scale - Tbilisi Mayor
Iran’s SPGC shares data on production of its fifth refinery
Baku International Sea Trade Port unveils cargo transshipment for 10M2021
Pakistan receives $3 billion loan from Saudi Arabia
VISA open to co-op with all key players in Azerbaijan’s transport sector (Exclusive)
6.1-magnitude earthquake rattles southern Philippines
Soyuz-ST-B with 2 Galileo satellites launched from Kourou spaceport
Dutch former queen Beatrix tests positive for COVID-19
10 mln French have received COVID-19 booster shots: minister
Iran abandoned any compromises in latest nuclear talks - U.S.
Chile reports first case of Omicron variant
White House confirms plans of holding video call between Biden and Putin on December 7
Vienna talks on Iran nuclear deal to resume next week - Russian Foreign Ministry
1 killed, 40 injured following volcanic eruption in Indonesia
Body of another Armenian serviceman found in Azerbaijan's Khojavand
Bitcoin tumbles 9.95% to $48,397.56
Passenger transportation via Iran's Kermanshah International Airport declines
UK records another 42,848 coronavirus cases
Explosion occurred near Iran's nuclear facility
Azerbaijan hands over to Armenia body of saboteur neutralized in attack on Azerbaijani serviceman in Khojavand
Azerbaijan talks entreprises to be commissioned at Aghdam Industrial Park
Major terrorist attack against rally with Erdogan's participation prevented in Turkey
Great number of EU, NATO countries interested in Turkish drones - Cavushoglu
Georgian PM meets with President of FIBA Europe
OSCE MG ready to host meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian FMs
Value of Azerbaijan's export to US surges for 10M2021
Prices on several main food products in Kazakhstan continue to lower
Agrarian sector of ‘smart village’ in Azerbaijan’s Zangilan to be combined modern urban planning – minister
Azerbaijan discloses project cost of agropark in Yevlakh (PHOTO)
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange down
Saudi Arabia, France agree to strengthen cooperation
Biden, Putin to hold video call on Tuesday
India, Australia are natural economic partners, says Tony Abbott
Azerbaijan receives mine maps of its territories liberated from Armenian occupation
Erdogan discusses humanitarian aid with Red Crescent, Red Cross
Uzbekistan intends to increase dried fruit exports to China
No Omicron strain detected in Georgia - NCDC Head
Aligarh’s Areeba shoots to fame, breaks stereotypes about Muslim girls
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price skyrockets
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,406 more COVID-19 cases, 1,787 recoveries
Tactical exercises held in Azerbaijan's commando military unit - MoD (PHOTO/VIDEO)
New composition of Supervisory Board of Azerbaijan Industrial Corporation approved
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for December 4
President Ilham Aliyev sends congratulations to heads of Thailand, Finland
France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan - Macron
Ranking of natural gas importers from Azerbaijan
Uzbek Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange reveals volume of its transactions
SOCAR Georgia Gas announces tender on gas stations restoration
Iran eyes increase in passenger transportation via Yazd Shahid Sadooghi Airport
Azerbaijan reveals oil exports to Canada in 10M2021
Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
Turkmenistan’s president approves anti-crisis program for 2022
Azerbaijan’s liberated territories have high potential for solar energy - RES agency
Weekly review of key events in Azerbaijan's ICT sector
Russian company to help automate, digitalize processes in Uzbek energy sector
Iran reaches increase in load/unload operations in Shahid Bahonar port
Top 10 Azerbaijani oil importers
MFA reveals reason why Armenia-Azerbaijan ministerial meeting didn't take place
Kazakhstan talks construction of wind power plants in Kostanay region
Azerbaijan achieves practical results to restore hydropower plants in liberated lands - agency's CEO
Azerbaijan’s metallurgical company notes increases in steel production over 9M2021
Iran also to be able to take advantage of Zangazur corridor – ex-Iranian ambassador to Azerbaijan
Russia-UAE trade turnover hits fresh all-time high surpassing $4 bln - Mishustin
Kazakhstan’s Almaty Power Plants to buy pumping, ventilation equipment via tender
Azerbaijan discloses oil exports to Ukraine over 10M2021
Azerbaijan unveils volume of oil exports to Belarus in first 10M2021
Georgian Railway shares updated report on income within 9M2021
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 oil exports to UK revealed
Kazakhstan to timely fulfill its obligations under COP26 – PM
Azerbaijan opens investment tender to privatize Sumgayit Construction Service company
Iran finds way to supply its far north, north-east provinces with gas
Georgia releases COVID-19 data for December 4
LUKOIL Uzbekistan Operating LLC opens tender for supply of shut-off and control valves
Mikheil Saakashvili not to be treated abroad – Georgia's minister
Russia offers Azerbaijan to switch to barcoding for fruit, vegetables exports
Tripartite gas swap deal with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, may help Iran kill two birds with one stone
Azerbaijan Mortgage and Credit Guarantee Fund issues record amount of loans in 10M2021
Goods movement across Azerbaijani-Russian border to be accelerated
Azerbaijani oil prices increase
Kazakhstan boosts trade with Romania over 9M2021
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's oil & gas sector
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Treatment of servicemen injured in helicopter crash of Azerbaijan’s State Border Service continues
Turkey to support Azerbaijan in installing seismic stations in Karabakh
Iran aims to increase local solar power production
Gamaleya Center ready to accept state order for up to 10 mln sets of Sputnik M
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia to buy welding equipment via tender
Georgia’s export of oil products increases
India’s air defence gets a big boost, Russia starts delivery of S-400 missiles
India's defence procurement guided by national security interests: MEA
All news