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Scientists discover longest animal ever recorded
The siphonophore is estimated to be 150-feet long.

150-foot-long siphonophore found in the waters of Australia

Scientists have discovered 30 new marine species off the coast of Western Australia, including what is believed to be the longest animal ever recorded.

Researchers from the Western Australian Museum aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor found an estimated 150-foot-long siphonophore while exploring the deep-sea canyons of Ningaloo.

Part of the jellyfish family, siphonophores are comprised of tiny individual zooids that clone themselves thousands of times to string together to work as one.
Other unique finds made by the researchers included glass sponges and octopus squid.

“We suspected these deep-sea areas would be diverse but we have been blown away by the significance of what we have seen,” commented chief scientist, Dr Nerida Wilson.

Dr Lisa Kirkendale, head of aquatic zoology at the Western Australian Museum and co-principal investigator added: “These specimens represent so many extensions in-depth and range records for so many species, and will form an important new part of WA Museum collections.”

During the expedition, researchers used an underwater robot, ROV SuBastian, to complete 20 dives at depths of up to 4,500 meters over 181 hours of exploration.

In addition to the siphonophore, the researchers collected the first giant hydroids in Australia, discovered large communities of glass sponges, and observed - for the first time in Western Australia - the bioluminescent Taning’s octopus squid.

“There is so much we don’t know about the deep sea, and there are countless species never before seen,” said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute.

“Our planet is deeply interconnected–what happens in the deep sea impacts life on land–and vice versa. This research is vital to advance our understanding of that connection–and the importance of protecting these fragile ecosystems.

"The Ningaloo Canyons are just one of many vast underwater wonders we are about to discover that can help us better understand our planet.”

Image (C) Shmidt Ocean Institute.


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Do you know a practice wellbeing star?

News Story 1
 Has someone in your practice team gone above and beyond to make your workplace a positive one during the coronavirus pandemic? Then why not nominate them for a 2020 Practice Wellbeing Star!

The joint RCVS Mind Matters Initiative/SPVS Practice Wellbeing Star nominations recognise individuals who have held up morale during a time when practices are facing unprecedented staffing and financial issues.

Nominees receive a certificate in recognition of their colleagues' appreciation of their achievements and will be entered into the prize draw for a pair of tickets to attend the joint SPVS and Veterinary Management Group Congress in January 2021.


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WellVet reopens ticket sales to online conference platform

Following the success of its online conference, the organisers behind WellVet Weekend have re-opened ticket sales to allow new delegates to access session recordings and its online networking platform.

The day-long conference saw more than 360 veterinary professionals mix activity sessions with personal development CPD, all hosted within a virtual conference platform. Now, with more than 500 minutes of CPD available, the resource is being re-opened to allow full access to the session recordings until May 2021.

Sessions are aimed at providing delegates with a range of proactive wellbeing tools to explore to find ways of improving their mental and physical health. Tickets are limited in number and on sale at until 30th August 2020.