Navigation Links
Bone-munching worms from the deep sea thrive on fish bones
Date:4/14/2011

A new study led by a scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is painting a more complete picture of an extraordinary sea worm that makes its living in the depths of the ocean on the bones of dead animals.

Discovered fewer than 10 years ago off Monterey, Calif., but since identified in other oceans, the flower-like marine "boneworms," or Osedax, have been documented mainly living upon whale carcasses that fall to the ocean floor, leading some scientists to argue that Osedax specializes in whale bones. But Scripps Professor Greg Rouse, along with colleagues at Occidental College and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) wondered: Do Osedax boneworms also live on the bones of non-mammals?

To assess the question, the researchers carried out an experiment, which is described in the April 13 online edition of Biology Letters, a Royal Society journal. The team employed MBARI's remotely operated vehicles Ventana and Doc Ricketts to deploy tuna and wahoo bones, as well as shark cartilage inside wire cages at approximately 1,000-meter (3,280-foot) depth off Monterey, Calif. When the researchers retrieved the cages five months later, they found Osedax living on the fish bones, although the shark cartilage had already been eaten by unknown organisms.

"We weren't sure that Osedax boneworms would be able to settle on fish bone and to grow to maturity and breed. When it actually turned out that we could establish all these things it was very satisfying," said Rouse. "That we actually found three different Osedax species living on the fish bones was a further bonus. The finding shows that Osedax boneworms are not whale bone specialists, but are arguably generalists and able to exploit a variety of vertebrate bones."

The finding also lends support to a hypothesis they have previously proposed that Osedax and its bone-eating lifestyle may have evolved millions of years ago during a time known as the Cretaceous period, well before the dawn of marine mammals.

"These bone-eating worms may have expanded their feeding niche several times to exploit the bones of large marine vertebrates as they successively colonized the world's oceans from land," say the authors in the paper.

The scientists say Osedax's ability to exploit non-mammalian bones could be an ancestral trait: "We suggest that whalebones are but one in a long series of food sources that Osedax has exploited and continues to exploit."

"Our experimental studies at MBARI have identified 17 species of Osedax from various depths in Monterey submarine canyon," said MBARI's Bob Vrijenhoek, a paper coauthor. "We now know that the worms are capable of subsisting on a variety of bones from cows, pigs and seals, but this new discovery of Osedax on fish bones forces us to take a fresh look at their nutritional limits and evolution."

The team now plans to further study the possible use of shark remains by Osedax and describe and further understand a host of new species of boneworms they have discovered off Monterey. They also plan to study how the worms actually eat into bone.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mario Aguilera
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UCSF team shows how to make skinny worms fat and fat worms skinny
2. Simple marine worms distantly related to humans
3. When worms stick together and swim on thin water, what happens and why does it matter?
4. LCD projector used to control brain and muscles of tiny organisms such as worms
5. Studying illnesses caused by worms: Scientists are learning how immune cells communicate
6. Notre Dame and Wyoming scientists genetically engineer silkworms to produce artificial spider silk
7. Warrior worms discovered in snails; UCSB scientists see possible biomedical applications
8. Body builders -- the worms that point the way to understanding tissue regeneration
9. Brains, worms and computer chips have striking similarities
10. Bone-eating worms 30 million years old
11. Scientists find new genes for cancer, other diseases in plants, yeast and worms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bone-munching worms from the deep sea thrive on fish bones
(Date:6/3/2016)... LONDON , June 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transport Management) von Nepal ... ,Angebot und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich ... weltweit führend in der Produktion und Implementierung ... an der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber ...
(Date:6/2/2016)...   The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... capability in which consumers will be able to interact with ... via voice or text and receive relevant information about the ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can create ... relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... NEW YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Biometric Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to ... According to a recently released TechSci Research report, " ... Sector, By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - ... $ 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University ... (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will be ... correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing ... then be employed to support the design of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While ... machines such as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines ... is the height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to ... AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the ... Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably ...
Breaking Biology Technology: