Amphioxus, a Faceless and Brainless Fish, Among New 2011 Scotland Marine Discoveries

Posted on December 29, 2011

The government of Scotland has announced some of the rare species discovered during 15 marine surveys in 2011. The discoveries include rare Fan Mussels, which can grow up to 48 centimeters long and are the largest shell in Scotland.

Another discover was the Amphioxus, a faceless and brainless fish. The fish is thought to be a modern representative of the first animals that evolved a backbone. The fish has a nerve cord down its back but lacks a brain or face.

You can view photographs of some of the creatures discovered during Scotland's 2011 marine surveys here.

Scotland's Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said in a statement, "In an age where the lands of the world have been mapped out and recorded, it's amazing how many discoveries are waiting to be found under the waves. Spanning from the weird to the wonderful, discoveries this year have included the bizarre Amphioxus and the beautiful yet elusive brightly coloured Flame Shell. The waters around Scotland are rich in such fascinating biodiversity and it's our responsibility to protect this fragile environment. That's why we have ramped up our marine survey work, with plans being prepared for new surveys in 2012 to further our knowledge of what lies beneath Scotland's seas."

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