Kamis, 03 Maret 2011

Spesies Kuda Laut Mini Ditemukan



KOMPAS.com — Spesies baru kuda laut berhasil ditemukan. Kuda laut ini unik sebab berukuran hanya beberapa milimeter. Selain itu,  spesies baru ini juga tidak memiliki struktur sirip di bagian dorsal atau punggung.
Spesies baru kuda laut ini dinamai Hippocampus paradoxus. Keberadaannya baru disadari setelah spesimen kuncinya disimpan lebih dari satu dasawarsa di South Australian Museum di Adelaide.
Ralph Foster, manajer koleksi di museum tersebut, mengatakan, "Spesies ini diketahui dari sebuah spesimen yang telah berada di museum sejak 1995. Saya menemukannya di rak pada 2006 dan menyadari ada yang tidak biasa."
Foster kemudian menganalisis dengan menggunakan CT Scan untuk mendapatkan citra tiga dimensi rangka hewan itu. Cara ini biasa digunakan ilmuwan untuk menentukan karakteristik taksonomi penting berdasarkan sistem rangkanya.
Setelah menganalisis, Foster menentukan bahwa spesimen tersebut memang spesies baru kuda laut. Spesies ini unik sebab berukuran mini, hanya beberapa milimeter, serta tidak memiliki sirip dorsal atau punggung.
"Penelitian membedakan dengan jelas spesimen dari semua spesies kuda laut yang ada," kata Foster. Karena itu, spesies ini dinamai paradoxus sebab ciri-cirinya aneh dan kontradiktif dengan spesies-spesies lain.
"Spesies ini mungkin tidak pernah atau setidaknya jarang ditemukan sebelumnya," tutur Foster. Hal itu mungkin berkaitan dengan habitat spesies yang terpencil ataupun minimnya survei.
Kedalaman tempat spesimen ini ditemukan termasuk zona Mesophotic. Zona tersebut biasanya di luar jangkauan scuba diver, yang biasanya menjadi pihak pertama yang mengetahui kemungkinan adanya spesies baru.
"Dugaan saya, kemungkinan spesies ini umum pada habitat pilihannya. Namun, dibutuhkan syarat-syarat sangat spesifik untuk membuatnya terdistribusi merata, kecuali Anda menemukan habitat tepat," ucap Foster.
Saat ini telah ditemukan 230.000 jenis kehidupan laut, termasuk kuda laut. Jumlah tersebut diperkirakan hanya 30 persen jumlah sebenarnya. Ilmuwan menduga banyak spesies akan punah sebelum ditemukan sebab banyak laut telah dirusak.
"Kuda laut adalah hewan yang sangat sensitif terhadap polusi dan kerusakan habitat. Bisa jadi jenis yang baru diidentifikasi sudah punah dari alam liar," kata Chris Brown dari Weymouth Sea Life Park.

Mini Seahorse Species Discovered
KOMPAS.com - A new species of sea horses found. Seahorse is unique because it measures only a few millimeters. In addition, this new species also has no structure in the dorsal fin or back.
The new species is named after the sea horse Hippocampus paradoxus. Its existence was only realized after the key specimens stored for more than a decade in the South Australian Museum in Adelaide.
Ralph Foster, manager of collections at the museum, said, "This species is known from a specimen that has been in the museum since 1995. I found it on the shelves in 2006 and realized there was nothing unusual."
Foster then analyzed by using CT scans to obtain three-dimensional image of the animal frame. This method is usually used scientists to determine important taxonomic characteristics based on the skeletal system.
After analyzing, Foster determined that the specimens are indeed a new species of sea horse. This species is unique because the mini-sized, just a few millimeters, and have no dorsal fin or back.
"Research clearly differentiate specimens of all species of seahorses are there," said Foster. Therefore, this species is named paradoxus because characteristics peculiar and contradictory with other species.
"The species is probably never, or at least rarely encountered before," said Foster. This is probably related to the habitat of species isolated or lack of surveys.
The depth where the specimens were found including Mesophotic zone. Zones are usually beyond the reach of scuba divers, who usually become the first to find out the possibility of a new species.
"My guess, probably this species common in the habitat choice. However, it takes very specific conditions to make it distributed evenly, unless you find the right habitat," said Foster.
When this has been found in 230 000 species of marine life, including sea horses. The amount is estimated that only 30 percent of the actual number. Scientists suspect many species will become extinct before they were discovered because a lot of sea had been destroyed.
"Seahorses are the animals that are very sensitive to pollution and habitat destruction. It could be a newly identified species are extinct from the wild," said Chris Brown from Weymouth Sea Life Park.


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