Strange deep sea creatures confirmed as three new... - Wissenschaft und Deutsch

Strange deep sea creatures confirmed as three new species

DNA analysis has established that creatures captured by scientists from the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab during a voyage to the mid-Atlantic are members of the Torquaratoridae; a recently discovered family of acorn worms.

The identification of the delicate creatures–which could not be collected using the primitive deep sea grabs and dredges of previous centuries–may provide new insight not only into life in the deep sea but the evolution of life on earth.

The DNA analysis was conducted by Karen Osborn of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. A paper detailing the identification of the three new species was published Nov. 16 in Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B.

The Torquaratoridae, which were captured last year using a remotely operated vehicle launched from the RRS James Cook , have no eyes and no tail but manage to crawl along the sea floor harvesting food that has fallen from the surface.

“The DNA analysis has shown the relationships of the three Atlantic specimens to the growing family tree of the Torquaratoridae,” says Monty Priede, director of the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab and leader of the expedition that retrieved the samples from the Atlantic. “The way is now clear to correctly describe and name these new species, which at present are just know by their colours, pink, purple and white.”

Acorn worms are known as a scientific curiosity, inconspicuous burrowing animals that are related to the ancestors of back boned animals.

“They are perceived as an evolutionary dead end, having been surpassed by their cousins, the fishes which acquired tails became fast swimmers, conquered the oceans and gave rise to reptiles, mammals and birds,” Priede says.

“However the Torquaratoridae family of acorn worms has not stood still; on the contrary they crawl over the sea floor, ploughing nutritious sediment into the mouth and leaving a characteristic spiral trail behind. They have also been observed to make swimming movements lifting off the sea floor to drift on the currents between patches of suitable feeding territory.”

Priede added that expeditions to the deep sea, using remotely operated vehicles, were likely to lead to ‘an evolutionary explosion’ of these animals with 15 species discovered so far and many more likely to be found in coming years.”–Source: Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King’s College


  1. deepbluesea1313 reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  2. rebellum reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  3. dnamy reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  4. animalinstinct420 reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  5. blogintheoceanbluelove reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  6. theoceansandstreams reblogged this from trynottodrown
  7. guriamumtaz reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  8. soulrebel193 reblogged this from somuchscience
  9. todbrowning reblogged this from moreawkwardpirouettes
  10. sciencegurl reblogged this from tiny-creatures
  11. eloquentvibrato reblogged this from underthevastblueseas
  12. renkades reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  13. explosions-of-light reblogged this from somuchscience
  14. wandering-ent reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  15. cadeyfadey reblogged this from stufftoblowyourmind
  16. silentcriesoffear reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  17. ilovemuffins- reblogged this from inbilla-sig
  18. inbilla-sig reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  19. thesmallanomaly reblogged this from enthusispastic
  20. silas216 reblogged this from 100kfireflies
  21. hiphiphurray reblogged this from dendroica
  22. flexmasculine reblogged this from underthevastblueseas and added:
    aka “living fleshlights”
  23. earths-ends reblogged this from scienceyoucanlove
  24. inkitart reblogged this from tiny-creatures