Here’s a breakdown of the animals that crossed the Pacific on 2011 tsunami debris | Science News

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Here’s a breakdown of the animals that crossed the Pacific on 2011 tsunami debris

About two-thirds of the creatures have never been documented off the western coast of North America

By
11:00am, October 17, 2017
sea slugs

HITCHHIKERS  These marine sea slugs stowed away on a derelict vessel from Iwate Prefecture in Japan before being washed ashore in Oregon in April 2015. 

Life’s great diversity has revealed itself in more than 600 pieces of floating tsunami debris that have landed on the western coast of North America. Of nearly 300 living animal and protist species documented on the debris, which crossed the Pacific Ocean following Japan’s destructive 2011 tsunami, researchers analyzed in detail 237 species, which include larger invertebrates and two fish. The critters represent 15 taxonomic groups, as defined by the scientists in the Sept. 29 issue of Science. (Each box below signifies a living species; colors are different groups.)

Most of the species were mollusks, including marine snails, nudibranchs and oysters. Mollusks were followed by annelids (segmented worms), cnidarians (including sea anemones), bryozoans

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