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PARIS -- The collapse of two ice shelves in Antarctica has exposed an exquisite seabed ecosystem, including species of crustaceans and marine anemones that had never been identified, researchers said on Sunday.
The insight into Antarctica's hidden marine world came from the breakup of the Larsen A and B ice shelves, 12 and five years ago respectively, that later formed huge icebergs.
Their collapse laid bare a 10,000-square-kilometer (3,800-square-mile) portion of the sea bed -- an area almost the size of Jamaica -- that had been roofed by ice for millennia.
The newcomers to the book of knowledge about Antarctica include 15 shrimp-like crustaceans called amphipods, including one beast that was nearly 10 centimeters (four inches) long, the researchers said in a press release.
Four presumed new species of cnidarians -- organisms related to coral, jellyfish and sea anemones -- were also found.
One of them lives on the back of a snail, showing a symbiotic relationship in which the snail provides locomotion for the cnidarian, and the cnidarian provides protection for the snail.
At present, international databases have recorded 5,957 forms of marine life, but as many as 11,000 more remain to be discovered.