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Exotic Sea Slugs Discovered in the Philippines

A mission to remote areas of the Philippines has revealed several new species of exotic creatures in the country's diverse waters.

An undocumented type of sea slug called "nudibranchs" was among the new marine life discovered , the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. The team also discovered new species of barnacles and eel.

The discovery was part of a mission of nearly 30 experts that are exploring rarely surveyed mountains and waters of the country, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots . The team was in the field for just a few days before they began finding new forms of animal and plant life.

"It's truly remarkable -- we find new species in every dive we take. It seems endless," Terry Gosliner of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) said in a press conference earlier this week, the Inquirer reported.

The team is canvassing five sites across the Philippines. In addition to studying the waters, the expedition will venture to mountain peaks and study areas that have not been surveyed in nearly 100 years. The expedition began April 26 and is expected to finish by June 8.

The mission's goal is to identify new plants and animals so that they can be protected and sustainably managed. The expedition will also study how climate change is changing the biodiversity of the country.

Fieldwork in the Philippines is extremely dangerous, so the expedition team is working with local governments for permits and security. Last year, botanist Leonard Co was shot and killed while doing fieldwork in the region. The military has claimed that Co was caught in the crossfire between soldiers and communist rebels.

Live Science Staff
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