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Arctic, Antarctic Teem With Similar Marine Species


Researchers have discovered that as many as 235 species live in cold waters at both poles of the Earth, thousands of kilometers apart.

A new survey shows the Arctic and Antarctic are much more alike than scientists previously thought.

Scientists had been aware of gray whales and a handful of other species living near both poles.

But searching through deep waters on both ends of the Earth, they have found many more species, including a large number of crustaceans, sea worms and animals without a backbone.

A survey compiled by scientists from around the world documents about 7,500 species living in the Antarctic and about 5,500 in the Arctic. Researchers say hundreds of them could be new to science.

The survey is a part of an effort to create the world's first global oceans census, which is due in October of 2010.

On Sunday, Belgium inaugurated a new scientific research center in Anarctica, called the Princess Elizabeth Station. Officials say the center will be the first of its kind to run on clean energy, without any greenhouse emissions.

In addition to polar research, the station is devoted to developing ideas on sustainable development.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.



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