The remarkable findings were made during surveys of the Tasman Fracture and Huon Commonwealth Marine Reserves, about 100 nautical miles off the coast of southern Tasmania.
In total, 274 species new to science were brought to the surface and analysed, along with 86 species previously unknown in Australian waters and 242 previously studied species.
The sophisticated sonar equipment onboard also discovered 80 previously unknown seamounts, raising the total in the region to at least 144, which is easily the highest concentration in Australian waters. Scientists also discovered 145 new undersea canyons, raising the regional total to at least 276.
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<table style="border:1px solid;padding:2px; width:310px;" ><tr><td><a href="http://scienceimage.csiro.au/image/11083/"><img src="http://scienceimage.csiro.au/images/embed/300_0_AS11551.jpg" width="300" alt="A new species of Ophiacantha brittle-star" style="margin: 0 0 5px 0; border: 0px;"></a><br/><a href="http://scienceimage.csiro.au/image/11083/">A new species of Ophiacantha brittle-star</a><br />by CSIRO</td></tr></table>
A new species of Ophiacantha brittle-star