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Date: May 23, 2012

Deep Sea Digital Guide Offers Rare Glimpses Of Ocean Life

Bloodybelly comb jellies, sea pigs, deep sea spiders—real images and video of these and over 125 other little-known inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean can now be viewed on an iPad. The Marine Life Field Guide, published by the University of Victoria’s NEPTUNE Canada, is the first interactive visual reference to species of the deep sea for tablet computers.

“This unique new guide is a ‘living book’ that we'll be updating regularly with new creatures, images, videos and information,” says Dr. Kate Moran, director of NEPTUNE Canada, the regional network of UVic’s Ocean Networks Canada Observatory.

NEPTUNE Canada is the world’s largest regional cabled undersea ocean network. During the network’s challenging research and maintenance expeditions into the northeast Pacific Ocean, undersea videos are captured by remotely operated submersibles diving to almost three kilometres below the ocean surface, where lifeforms thrive in complete darkness.

The new iBook seeks to raise awareness of the ocean’s vast biodiversity and involve experts around the world in classifying these mysterious animals. Several species in the guide await identification from experts, while others are known only to scientists and lack a common name.

“While the primary goal of this guide is to help our science team make more accurate observations,” says Dr. Kim Juniper, associate director of science at NEPTUNE Canada. “What better way is there to help the public learn more about the inhabitants of the deep sea they can see in our online photo and video archive?”

The Marine Life Field Guide is available at the iBook store for free, but also as a PDF on the NEPTUNE Canada website at neptunecanada.ca/FieldGuide

Media contacts:

Dr. Kate Moran (NEPTUNE Canada) at 250-472-5400 or kmoran@uvic.ca
Dr. Kim Juniper (NEPTUNE Canada) at 250-472-5400 or kjuniper@uvic.ca
Leslie Elliott (NEPTUNE Canada) at 250-516-1246 (cell) or elliottl@uvic.ca

Hi-res iBook intro with Dr. Kate Moran available at https://vimeo.com/42428776
Hi-res video (cruise highlights 2011) at http://vimeo.com/37630131
Select Hi-res jpeg images from guide, including cover, are available on request

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(image: fern)