Some 1,224 marine and land species were recorded, including sea urchins, free-swimming worms, crustaceans, molluscs, mites and birds. After checking 100 years of study data five were found to be new to science and a third new to the area, with 1,026 marine creatures, 821 of which living on the seabed.
Scientists believe the study provides an important benchmark to monitor future environmental change in the area.
Dr David Barnes, lead author at the Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey (BAS), has revealed his findings in the Journal of Biogeography. He said: "If we are to understand how these animals will respond to future change, a starting point like this is really important. "This is the first time anybody has done an inventory like this in the polar regions. It's part of the Census of Marine Life (COML) an international effort to assess and explain the diversity and distribution of marine life in the world's oceans."
Stefanie Kaiser, co-author from