“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ― Carl Sagan Current Biology

14th August 2013

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Bone-eating worms thrive in the Antarctic (Nature News)
Researchers have discovered two species of worms that dine on decaying whale skeletons on the icy-cold seafloor of the Southern Ocean. Until now, similar organisms had only been found at warmer latitudes. Other marine invertebrates that feed on rotting wood however do not seem to inhabit Antarctic waters, a fact that could be good news for those who hunt for sunken ships.
The new species, named Osedax antarcticus and Osedax deceptionensis and described today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B1, belong to the genus Osedax, which is Latin for ‘bone devourer’.
The females of these unusual animals are typically found living on sunken whale carcasses, where they feed by growing rootlike structures (the animals lack a digestive tract). The much smaller males live attached to the bodies of the females, acting as sperm banks.

Bone-eating worms thrive in the Antarctic (Nature News)

Researchers have discovered two species of worms that dine on decaying whale skeletons on the icy-cold seafloor of the Southern Ocean. Until now, similar organisms had only been found at warmer latitudes. Other marine invertebrates that feed on rotting wood however do not seem to inhabit Antarctic waters, a fact that could be good news for those who hunt for sunken ships.

The new species, named Osedax antarcticus and Osedax deceptionensis and described today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B1, belong to the genus Osedax, which is Latin for ‘bone devourer’.

The females of these unusual animals are typically found living on sunken whale carcasses, where they feed by growing rootlike structures (the animals lack a digestive tract). The much smaller males live attached to the bodies of the females, acting as sperm banks.

Tagged: WormsOceanAntarcticBiologyScience

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