Scientists at NUI Galway have discovered a new deep sea habitat living in Irish waters.
The discovery was made using the Irish deep-water remotely operated ROV vehicle.
The findings describe for the first time a vertical rock face half a mile below the sea’s surface covered in bivalves and corals which may be more than 200 years old.
NUI Galway Zoologist Dr Louise Allcock, who lead the team which explored the Whittard Canyon, said: “We were flying the ROV up a vertical wall in the Whittard Canyon and we came across this wonderful habitat full of these really big bivalves, clam-like animals.
“So we just found this fantastically dense habitat with really large animals, really colourful and it’s just something we’d never seen before.
“When we looked further we realised it was something nobody else had seen before and it was a habitat that was completely new to science.”