11 Apr 2023

Ballerina sponge among new marine species

From Midday Report, 12:46 pm on 11 April 2023

Ever heard of a Ballerina sponge? Or Satan's Mud Dragon?

Well, chances are you haven't, because they're among a list of 10 new marine species discovered last year.

The Ballerina sponge is called just that because it has a microskeleton that resembles the skirt of a ballerina, and was described by Niwa scientists as part of illustrated works that aim to capture New Zealand's distinctive marine fauna and flora.

Niwa Taxonomist Carina Sim-Smith spoke to Max Towle.