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   Undertoad  Thursday Aug 12 01:18 PM

8/12/2004: Whalebone-eating worm



This is Osedax frankpressi. It's a newly-discovered species, and its job is to eat the bones of whales. (Thx elspode)

The full story explains that this tiny little creature exists only to feast on such bones, when the whales die, and are a part of the whole ecosystem that helps the whales decompose productively I guess.

According to the caption, This female worm, from the newly designated species Osedax frankpressi, has been dissected in the whale bone. The green tissue is where bacteria are found, and part of it has been torn, exposing the white ovary. A reddish "palp" captures oxygen for the worms and the bacteria.

How large is it? The largest female tubeworms the scientists recovered are about as long as your index finger and as thick as a pencil. What about the males? they live inside the females.

But it's more interesting to think of it as just another example of how weird, beautiful little things live all around us and we may not even know it.



lookout123  Thursday Aug 12 02:15 PM

just imagine what may be chewing on your bones without you knowledge right now.



Cyber Wolf  Thursday Aug 12 02:19 PM

Another member of Nature's cleanup crew at work. Awesome. :thumpsup:



Undertoad  Thursday Aug 12 02:20 PM

Actually I was fibbing. This is the new Xbox2 controller.



beavis  Thursday Aug 12 04:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
Actually I was fibbing. This is the new Xbox2 controller.
bwahaha nice dood


YellowBolt  Thursday Aug 12 04:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
Actually I was fibbing. This is the new Xbox2 controller.
Bwahaha look at how advanced it is!

In all seriousness though, that's some weird looking stuff.


Skunks  Thursday Aug 12 05:52 PM

Does it eat whale boners, too? I mean, how does this interfere with whales boning whales? Can they just be, "bone, bone, bone" without any trouble, or is it like crabs for whales?



mmmBoy  Thursday Aug 12 06:38 PM

Didn't we already see this one? Oh yeah, here.



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Aug 12 06:59 PM

Damn, it's not a critter, it's a community.



Trilby  Thursday Aug 12 07:41 PM

See-this is why I don't go into the sea. They're always finding some new species of something gross in there. Just think what that would feel like if you stepped on it--YUCK



Cyber Wolf  Friday Aug 13 09:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianna
See-this is why I don't go into the sea. They're always finding some new species of something gross in there. Just think what that would feel like if you stepped on it--YUCK
Ever take a look at dust mites and other near-microscopic critters with filaments and millions of legs that live on human skin and in human hair? Makes you want to take a shower.


Trilby  Friday Aug 13 09:34 AM

I try very hard not to think about it. I heard that taking a shower only makes those critters worse---they thrive in hot, humid conditions. I am grossed out and it's not even noon yet.

And no I am NOT advocating for less showers. If nursing has taught me anything it's that people need showers and baths with lots of soap and sometimes the only thing that will do is a good body wax.



Happy Monkey  Saturday Aug 14 07:00 PM

I just got back from the beaches of North Carolina, (7.5 hours of driving, with a hurricane on my tail). This year there were quite a few wormlike things completely encrusted with shells, which I hadn't seen before. There's always something wierd and new lurking in the ocean.



SteveDallas  Saturday Aug 14 08:27 PM

They eat whale bones?? That could cause problems for any of the ladies who are wearing corsets....



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Aug 15 12:13 AM

Weren't corset stays actually Baleen, Steve?



SteveDallas  Sunday Aug 15 05:16 AM

I have no idea. I've just heard of "whale-bone corset."



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Aug 15 10:31 AM

Good explanation From the link "Baleen is also called whalebone and used to be used as a plastic-like material." That's why the confusion.



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