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Massive count a drop in the bucket

Decade-long Census of Marine Life leaves plenty to discover

By
12:09pm, October 5, 2010

A 10-year international project called the Census of Marine Life has come to an end with what has to be one of the strangest census reports ever.

At the project’s finale in London October 4, a summary of the collaboration by 2,700 scientists from more than 600 institutions around the world highlighted their own undercounts and the vast realms they missed. That, however, was the point.

“There’s a lot of ocean left to explore,” says environmental scientist Jesse Ausubel, a census cofounder and program officer of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The water world covers

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