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A strange undersea creature covered in bright orange, spaghetti-like tentacles recently surfaced on the internet in newly released video footage. The unusual pom-pom-shaped creature is actually a type of segmented marine worm known as a polychaete, and belongs to the aptly named group of spaghetti worms.
Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) used a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to capture footage of a worm mimicking pasta while exploring the Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico in 2012.they released video (opens in new tab) On July 1st, we will celebrate World Polychaete Day on MBARI’s YouTube channel.
This particular species of spaghetti worm is not yet officially named, but belongs to the genus BilemisLacking eyes or gills, they use their multicolored tentacles to capture and feed on small pieces of organic matter, also known as sea snow. MBARI statement (opens in new tab).
Most spaghetti worms live in subseafloor burrows or tunnels, plunging their noodle-like tentacles into the water and simply snatching up bits of food.but this is Bilemis According to MBARI, earthworms spend their entire lives on the ground, having previously been observed swimming in water or crawling along the seafloor to find places where food is plentiful.
Another group of MBARI researchers first discovered an unnamed spaghetti worm species in 2003 after discovering it in the Gulf of California using another ROV. But nearly two decades after its first sighting, scientists are still working toward naming the species.
“Giving a unique name to a species sounds like a simple process, but in reality, collecting specimens, examining key features, sequencing DNA, and assigning scientific names takes a lot of time. and dedication,” said an MBARI representative in a statement.
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Exactly how deep the worm can live is unknown, but according to MBARI, most sightings have occurred less than 6,560 feet (2,000 meters) below the surface.
This spaghetti worm highlights how little scientists know about deep-sea life and the role of these animals in their ecosystems. According to MBARI, continued research of the deep sea and its inhabitants is critical, especially as many deep-sea ecosystems are degraded by destructive practices such as deep-sea mining and trawl fishing.
“Definitely, there are many other great worms, such as: Bilemis We await discoveries in the mystical depths of the ocean,” said a MBARI representative.
Originally published in Live Science.
Strange deep-sea worms look like glowing spaghetti chunks
Source link Strange deep-sea worms look like glowing spaghetti chunks