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New species discovered on whale skeletons
Date:9/21/2009

f the coast of Strmstad, Sweden. The other five species feed on whale bones in the deep waters off the coast of California, USA. The family tree of bristleworms was explored using molecular data. The DNA analyses show that there are several so-called cryptic bristleworm species, meaning species that despite looking identical differ very much genetically.

Significant findings

The analyses show that the adaptation to a life on whale cadavers has occurred in species from different evolutionary paths and at several points in time. The study also shows that some species that are assumed to inhabit many different areas globally, so-called cosmopolitan species, may in fact be cryptic species. This finding may be very significant for our understanding of how animals spread around the world and of how many different species dwell on our planet.


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Contact: Krister Svahn
krister.svahn@science.gu.se
46-031-786-4912
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

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