Antarctic sea anemone discovery


This video says about itself:

Antarctic vent octopus

5 jan 2012

Communities of species previously unknown to science have been discovered on the seafloor near Antarctica, clustered in the hot, dark environment surrounding hydrothermal vents.

Working from the Royal Research Ship James Cook, scientists discovered new species of yeti crab, starfish, barnacles, sea anemones, and potentially an octopus.

From New Scientist:

Ice-loving sea anemones found in Antarctica

31 December 2013 by Catherine de Lange

Talk about being chilled out: a species of sea anemone has been found on the underside of Antarctica‘s ice sheets. They are the only marine animals known to live embedded in the ice, and no one is sure how they survive.

Frank Rack of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and colleagues made the surprise find when they drilled through the ice for a geological studyMovie Camera. They were using a camera attached to a remote-controlled drill to explore the underside of the Ross Ice Shelf when they discovered large numbers of the white anemones, which they christened Edwardsiella andrillae, burrowed inside the ice with only their tentacles dangling into the water.

Marymegan Daly at the Ohio State University analysed samples, but dissecting the creatures revealed little – they looked just like any other anemone.

“I would never have guessed that they live embedded in the ice because there is nothing different about their anatomy,” she says.

Other species burrow into surfaces by inching their bodies in or digging with their tentacles, but ice should be too hard, says Daly, who thinks the new species may secrete chemicals to dissolve the ice. It is also unclear how they survive without freezing, and how they reproduce.

“We would like to have some genetic information so we can answer some of these questions,” Daly says. Unfortunately, as the team were not expecting to find animal life, they only had a preservative with them that could fix the animals’ anatomy but destroyed their DNA.

Journal reference: PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083476

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3 thoughts on “Antarctic sea anemone discovery

  1. Pingback: Antarctic poetry | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Antarctic emperor penguins and global warming | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Antarctica’s invasive plants | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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