Search

Purple sponge sea creature found off Cromer is brand-new species

04:00 10 October 2011

NEW SPECIES: The previously unrecorded sponge Hymedesmia, found on a chalk reef off Sheringham. Picture: ROB SPRAY

NEW SPECIES: The previously unrecorded sponge Hymedesmia, found on a chalk reef off Sheringham. Picture: ROB SPRAY

It’s purple, it’s slimy, it lives off the Norfolk coast - and it’s got international marine scientists very excited.

No, not the creature from the black lagoon but the sponge Hymedesmia - now officially declared as a brand new species of sea creature.

The sponge was found off Sheringham on a 20-mile underwater chalk reef which is the longest in Europe and is now regarded as a fragile eco-system of international importance.

The discovery came during a Wildlife Trusts’ survey of the entire East Coast, from Essex to Northumberland, carried out during National Marine Week in August.

Altogether 352 species of marine wildlife were found including 126 seaweeds, several of them previously unrecorded.

The sponge, which feeds on small particles in the water, has been identified by expert Dr Claire Goodwin of the National Museums of Northern Ireland who said that because the reef is unusually made of chalk there could be other “new” sponge species living there.

A TV documentary telling how Hymedesmia was discovered will be shown tonight, Monday, on BBC1 at 7.30pm.

4 comments

  • Do not fall for it EDP. yes it might be a new species but all these media feeds could end up in Cromer fishermen being banned from fishing over the reef where they have fished for centuries. The scientists and diving groups and wildlife organisations behind this "discovery" ( I thought Percy Trett wrote about it years ago) would like a " no take" order to supposedly protect something that seems to have been doing ok up til now.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • I thought it looked like that thingy that the puppet man uses, maybe he's discarded it and gone up market with a new hand thingy??

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • It is not a new species. It has been there all the time. It was a undiscovered species which has now been discovered and is a new species to science, that is if it is a newly discovered species.

    Report this comment

    gojema

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • Here we go again,it may be a new species to scientists but i have been pulling it up on my pots and anchors for years as have all the other fisherman.Its a shame this wonderful reef that has never been harmed in all the years it has been fished is now in danger from the thieving hands of divers who love to take pieces home for the mantlepiece

    Report this comment

    ncfc

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

“Everyone I have spoken to has said whatever is proposed has got to be better than what is there at the moment.”

46 minutes ago

A landowner who blamed Brexit for his plan to host outdoor concerts at his Cromer estate is now set to launch what he claims will be the town’s only campsite.

14:15

A further attempt will be made tonight to re-float a cargo ship grounded off the north Norfolk coast.

12:29

A horse had part of its mane cut and shaved off during an attack at a stables.

Most Read

“Everyone I have spoken to has said whatever is proposed has got to be better than what is there at the moment.”

Read more
David Gooch
12:29

A horse had part of its mane cut and shaved off during an attack at a stables.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:14

A joint investigation has today been launched after a man suffered fatal injuries on a gas platform 70 miles off the Norfolk coast.

Read more
Norfolk Police
Yesterday, 23:51

Councillor cites “family reasons” for decision.

Read more
David Gooch
Yesterday, 09:42

A supermarket in Cromer is set to drive ahead with plans to extend its filling station in the town.

Read more
Prince

Most Commented

“Everyone I have spoken to has said whatever is proposed has got to be better than what is there at the moment.”

Read more
David Gooch

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Norfolk News e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up