London: New Antarctica atlas, which is first of this magnitude since the publication of the Antactic Map Folio Series 45 years ago, has helped marine biologists from across the world in finding thousands of new species in the ocean.
Dr Katrin Linse, an expert in Antarctic molluscs at the British Antartic Survey, said that they had knowledge of 3,000 or 4,000 species when this process began, but now they know of more like 9,000 species, the Independent reported.
Among the discoveries were crabs that are able to live within the clouds of sulphur emitted by live underwater volcanoes and a new type of barnacle that has stems 50 times longer than its head. They also found that climate change had potentially caused changes in the breeding patterns of penguins.
Claude De Broyer, of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, said that the data would help inform conservation policy, including the debate over whether or not to establish marine protected areas in the open ocean.
The data produced using data from 147 scientists from 91 different academic institutions in 22 countries would also help researchers to predict what effect climate change could have on the distribution of key species.
The atlas is published by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic.