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May 12, 2016. Water / Oceans

Marine Flagship Species (6 of 6)

Flagship species are iconic representatives of their ecosystems and charismatic creatures that capture human attention

Cristina G. Mittermeier, Gregory S. Stone, Russell A. Mittermeier, Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, Claudio Campagna, Kent E. Carpenter, Laurence P. Madin, David Obura, Enric Sala, Sebastian Troëng, Peter A. Seligman & Stefan Gutermuth

Marine Invertebrates

Invertebrates represent over 98% of all life on Earth, including the vast majority of marine species.

Marine invertebrates include some of the smallest known forms of life, as well as some of the true giants. Echinoderms, such as the sea stars and their relatives, are a ubiquitous symbol of life at the seashore and their likeness is seen on everything from postcards to beach towels. An equally iconic group is the mollusks, especially the beautiful nudibranchs and the highly intelligent cephalopods—octopi, squid, nautilus, and cuttlefish—. The giant squid is the stuff of Jules Verne fame and the likely source of ancient mariners’ tales of sea serpents and Kraken, as they can reach lengths of over thirteen meters.

But it is in the deep sea where a treasure trove of new and unusual marine invertebrates awaits discovery. Some scientists have postulated that as many as 100 million new forms of life may lie within deep sea sediments alone.

This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Conservation Series Book Oceans: Heart of Our Blue Planet (2011)

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Oceans

Heart of our Blue Planet

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