Saturday, May 07, 2011

World Ocean Day Celebration:

World Ocean Day Celebration:
Name a New Species of Deep-Sea Worms Discovered by Scripps Oceanography
Scientists

Celebrate World Ocean Day by helping Birch Aquarium at Scripps and
researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, name two
new species of deep-sea worms. One name will be selected from the public at
large and another will be chosen from a K-12 school.

Suggestions can be submitted through May 25 on Birch Aquarium's website,
aquarium.ucsd.edu, or at the aquarium during its monthly SEA Days event on
May 21. Scientists from the Scripps Marine Invertebrate Phylogenetics Lab,
which identified the new species, will select three finalists for each worm.

Scripps scientists, in association with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research
Institute, discovered the worms living upon whale carcasses that had fallen
to the ocean floor off Monterey, Calif. These "whale falls" spawn unique
communities of marine animals that can feed off the carcass for decades. The
worms, which measure only a few centimeters in length, are part of the
family Hesionidae. Only 10 hesionids have been described from the deep sea,
and only one has been described from a whale fall. In total, Scripps
scientists discovered six new species of worms on whale falls.

For more information about the new deep-sea worms, and to submit a suggested
name, visit aquarium.ucsd.edu.