A new species of boneworm is discovered celebrating in an alligator
The scientists discovered a new species of bone-eating worm that threw three crocodile corpses at the bottom of the ocean to see how long they would last.
The ‘zombie’ worm osedax It was discovered that the genus, which colonizes bones and consumes lipids, delights with the remains of the crocodile bodies.
Osedax never before had it been observed in the Gulf of Mexico, nor eating the bones of a creature of the Crocodilia family – of which alligators are members.
US scientists UU. Crocodile corpses were thrown into the sea in 2019 to study how the hungry creatures of carbon would react at the bottom of the ocean.
The three corpses settled at a depth of approximately 6,500 feet, and the three found a different destination.
The photo shows the crocodile whose bones were collected clean. The fine brown creatures shaped like bone hair are zombie or osedax worms
The team had hoped that the reptilian hard skins would prevent creatures from deep into the soft tissue below, but were surprised.
After 51 days, a set of crocodile remains had been stripped of their flesh, leaving some skeletal remains and the new osedax species.
All soft tissue pieces of the alligator were removed by scavengers, including small crustaceans called amphipods, which were filmed by throwing themselves around the corpse.
The crocodile had his bones cleaned in a few weeks, at which point the zombie worm had begun to celebrate the skeleton he had left.
Blurred brown carpet-like creatures, captured on video by researchers, represent a new species of osedax genus that is native to the Gult of Mexico.
«The clade to which the new species belongs (nudepalps) is widely distributed from California to Japan and Antarctica, and there is currently no obvious biogeographic pattern for its discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, ” say the researchers in their study, published in the journal Plus one.
The photo shows the crocodile whose bones were collected clean. The fine creatures shaped like bones in their hair are zombie or osedax worms
The fate of the other alligators was also a surprise.
The investigation team was surprised when, after eight days, one of the other alligators had disappeared without a trace.
Although the crocodile and its harness had a combined weight of 85.8 pounds (938.9 kg), the predator had dragged them 30 feet across the sand, drag marks suggested.
The rope was bitten completely, allowing the predator to leave with its food.
The photo shows everything that was left after one of the alligators was snatched whole, probably by a shark
The photo shows everything that was left after one of the alligators was snatched whole and probably dragged along the bottom of the sea.
When the scientists returned, they found nothing but a depression in the shape of an alligator in the seabed and the weight with the rope still tied.
They believe that a predator, most likely a Greenland shark or the six gall shark, would have snatched it completely.
The Greenland shark is a member of the family of sleeping sharks. Somniosidae – the longest known vertebrate, with an estimated useful life between 300 and 500 years
Render of the Greenland shark, Somniosus microcephalus, with the longest known lifespan of all vertebrate species, between 300 and 500 years
However, Dr. McClain said there was no way to be sure of what he had taken from the lost crocodile.
“We have no video evidence of what that crocodile removed,” he said.
‘Through a process of reasoning and exploring different options, we believe that one of the two shark species is the most likely candidate.
“However, this is still a hypothesis at this time.”
The photo shows the crocodile that was eaten by crustaceans called isopods, each as large as an American football.
The third crocodile was devoured by deep-sea crustaceans, as revealed in images last year.
Less than 24 hours after being thrown into the ocean, the team discovered that a group of giant isopods, each as large as an American football, had already penetrated the skin of a crocodile.
For those who are not familiar with scavenger sea creatures, they may seem surprisingly similar to a terrestrial insect known as Armadillidiidae, commonly known as Pill Bugs or ‘Roly Poly bugs’, although they are actually related to woodlice.
This image shows the third crocodile that is devoured by the isopods, which are actually relatives of Woodlice
The results of the study were described as the first experimental “reptilian food drop” in the deep ocean, using alligators that were “humanely sacrificed.”
“The deep ocean is a food desert, dotted with food oases,” said study co-author Clifton Nunnally of the Marine Consortium of the Universities of Louisiana.
“Some of these oases are vents at the bottom of the ocean where chemicals or food come out that fall from the surface of the ocean.”
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE LIVES OF GREENLAND SHARKS?
It is said that massive slow-moving predators that inhabit the cold waters of the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans are the longest vertebrates on Earth, and it is estimated that an especially ancient individual is up to 512 years old.
Recent research found that Greenland sharks can live more than 500 years and do not reach sexual maturity until around 150.
But, for these remarkable creatures, longevity can have a cost.
The species is often plagued by worms-like parasites that adhere to their eyes, and it is known that these sharks enjoy an occasional meal of the rotten polar bear’s canal.
In a study published this summer, researchers used traces of carbon-14 produced by nuclear tests in the 1950s to determine the age of Greenland sharks, when examining lens crystals in their eyes.
It is estimated that the largest is about 392 years old.
But, given some uncertainty in the method, it could be between 272 and 512 years.
However, even with the lowest estimates, researchers say Greenland sharks are the longest vertebrates on Earth.
Despite its amazing lifespan and evasive nature, the accidental capture of one of these sharks is sometimes considered the equivalent of “stepping on dog poop,” said a biologist The New Yorker.
Greenland sharks are strange-looking creatures, with ghostly eyes and mouths always open.
And, although seals are known to be among their most important prey, these sharks sometimes also criticize what experts call “polar bear fillet.”
In September, Danish marine biologist Julius Nielsen, who led the recently published study, shared a look that stirred the stomach of one of those specimens.
The image published in Instagram reveals the remains of a polar bear extracted from the stomach of a Greenland shark.
“And no, I don’t think the shark has attacked the bear,” Nielsen wrote.
‘A body found by the shark is much more likely. The remains of polar bears in Greenland shark stomachs are extremely rare and polar bears are not considered important as a food source for sharks in Greenland waters. “
Scientists have also noticed the presence of parasites that hang from the corneas of these sharks, according to The New Yorker.