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Dalai Lama meets Sirsoe dalailamai

Sirsoe dalailamai is a new species (Hesionidae, Annelida) named in honor of the 80th birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was found living at methane seep off Costa Rica (Jaco Scar) 9°07.054N; 84°50.372W ~ 1800 meters depth. It was collected by HOV Alvin, Dive 4590. Jan 11, 2010.

Every year scientists discover new species of marine life from deep within the vast global oceans. Each of these new discoveries adds to the catalog of known organisms on Earth, and deepens the knowledge of ocean biodiversity.

Several of the most important libraries of ocean specimens in the world are housed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Known as the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, and referenced by scientists all over the world, these holdings of biological and geological marine specimens tell a unique and evolving story of life on Earth, and provide answers to questions about Earth's future.

The Dalai Lama accepts a gift from Scripps Oceanography scientists Walter Munk and V. Ramanathan on his 80th birthday.

Donors who name a species will receive a framed print of their named organism, as well as a copy of the scientific publication in which it is first described.

"By supporting the collections through species naming, donors have an opportunity for their name, or the name of a person they love or respect, to be immortalized forever," said Greg Rouse, curator of the Scripps Benthic Invertebrate Collection. "This type of unique gift highlights the vast unknown diversity in the sea that Scripps scientists are working to document and describe."

While offering the rights to name species may be a relatively new trend, naming species after people is not. For example, a feather-duster worm from Australia was named in honor of Rouse, Pseudofabriciola rousei.

Funds raised through this new naming opportunity will be used to help maintain and build upon the Scripps Oceanographic Collections for future generations of scientists.

To learn more about supporting the Scripps Oceanographic Collections through a naming gift, contact the Scripps Development Office at 858-822-1865 or



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