Crustacean Species Discovered In Australian Groundwater System

Australia’s National Science Agency Have Discovered New Species Of Crustaceans In Underground Waterways In The Country’s North

Crustacean Species Discovered In Australian Groundwater System

Researchers from Australia’s national science agency have discovered new species of crustaceans in underground waterways in the country’s north. The team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Charles Darwin University (CDU) collected samples from 26 groundwater bores and two springs across 500 kilometers in the Beetaloo Basin between August and October 2019. In the results of the study published on Tuesday, they revealed that they discovered a diverse range of groundwater fauna known as stygofauna.

Most of the stygofauna range from 0.3 to 10 millimeters (mm) in length with the largest, a type of shrimp that is likely the apex predator, reaching 20mm. It confirms that aquifers across the NT support a diverse range of marine wildlife dominate by crustaceans including shrimp, amphipods, ostracods, copepods and syncarids. “It’s incredibly exciting because some of these crustaceans are new to science – there are not many places left in the world where you can find a whole range of new animals in one location,” CDU scientist Jenny Davis said in a media release.

Researchers used fishing rods, hand lines, water pumps and eDNA analysis to identify and analyze known and unknown stygofauna in the aquifers. The project was funded by the CSIRO’s Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA). “CSIRO’s Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance is undertaking further research to quantify the risk of contamination impacts on stygofauna from possible industrial spill events,” CSIRO’s Gavin Rees said. “This research takes into account migration pathways and processes, including adsorption, dilution and microbial metabolism in soils and aquifers as well as the suspected high connectivity in groundwater systems.”

This news was originally published at Urdu Point