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Old October 12th, 2009 #1
Alex Linder
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Default New Species Discovered

'Veggie' spider shuns meat diet
By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC News

The mainly vegetarian spider was caught on camera

A spider that dines almost exclusively on plants has been described by scientists.

It is the first-known predominantly vegetarian spider; all of the other known 40,000 spider species are thought to be mainly carnivorous.

Bagheera kiplingi, which is found in Central America and Mexico, bucks the meat-eating trend by feasting on acacia plants.

The research is published in the journal Current Biology.

The herbivorous spider was filmed on high-definition camera.

Running the gauntlet

The jumping arachnid, which is 5-6mm long, has developed a taste for the tips of the acacia plants - known as Beltian bodies - which are packed full of protein.

This is the only spider we know that deliberately only goes after plants.
Professor Robert Curry

But to reach this leafy fare, the spider has to evade the attention of ants, which live in the hollow spines of the tree.

The ants and acacia trees have co-evolved to form a mutually beneficial relationship: the aggressive ants protect the trees from predators, swarming to attack any invaders; and in return for acting as bodyguards, the ants get to gorge on the acacias' Beltian bodies themselves.

But the crafty Bagheera kiplingi has found a way to exploit this symbiotic relationship.
Bagheera kiplingi spider and ant (R. Curry)
The spiders have to dodge ants to get to the leaf tips

One of the study's authors, Professor Robert Curry, from Villanova University, Pennsylvania, told BBC News: "The spiders basically dodge the ants.

"The spiders live on the plants - but way out on the tips of the old leaves, where the ants don't spend a lot of time, because there isn't any food on those leaves."

But when they get hungry, the spiders head to the newer leaves, and get ready to run the ant gauntlet.

Professor Curry said: "And they wait for an opening - they watch the ants move around, and they watch to see that there are not any ants in the local area that they are going after.

"And then they zip in and grab one of these Beltian bodies and then clip it off, hold it in their mouths and run away.

"And then they retreat to one of the undefended parts of the plant to eat it."

Like other species of jumping spider, Bagheera kiplingi has keen eyesight, is especially fast and agile and is thought to have good cognitive skills, which allows it to "hunt" down this plant food.

Fierce competition

The spider's herbivorous diet was first discovered in Costa Rica in 2001 by Eric Olsen from Brandeis University, and was then independently observed again in 2007 by Christopher Meehan, at that time an undergraduate student at Villanova University.

Competition in the tropics is pretty fierce so there are always advantages to do what someone else isn't already doing
Professor Curry

The team then collaborated to describe the spider for the first time in this Current Biology paper.

Professor Curry said he was extremely surprised when he found out about its unusual behaviour.

He said: "This is the only spider we know that deliberately only goes after plants."

While some spiders will occasionally supplement their diet with a little nectar or pollen, Bagheera kiplingi's diet is almost completely vegetarian - although occasionally topped up with a little ant larvae at times.

Professor Curry said there were numerous reasons why this spider might have turned away from meaty meals.

He said: "Competition in the tropics is pretty fierce so there are always advantages to doing what someone else isn't already doing.

"They are jumping spiders, so they don't build a web to catch food, so they have to catch their prey through pursuit. And the Beltian bodies are not moving - they are stuck - so it is a very predictable food supply."

Acacias also produce leaves throughout the year - even through the dry season - which would make them attractive.

And Professor Curry added: "Because the plants are protected by ants, they have none of their own chemical defences that other plants do."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8302535.stm
 
Old November 24th, 2009 #2
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Thousands of strange creatures found deep in ocean

The creatures living in the depths of the ocean are as weird and outlandish as the creations in a Dr. Seuss book: tentacled transparent sea cucumbers, primitive "dumbos" that flap ear-like fins, and tubeworms that feed on oil deposits.

A report released Sunday recorded 17,650 species living below 656 feet, the point where sunlight ceases. The findings were the latest update on a 10-year census of marine life.

"Parts of the deep sea that we assumed were homogenous are actually quite complex," said Robert S. Carney, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University and a lead researcher on the deep seas.

Thousands of marine species eke out an existence in the ocean's pitch-black depths by feeding on the snowlike decaying matter that cascades down—even sunken whale bones. Oil and methane also are an energy source for the bottom-dwellers, the report said.

The researchers have found about 5,600 new species on top of the 230,000 known. They hope to add several thousand more by October 2010, when the census will be done.

The scientists say they could announce that a million or more species remain unknown. On land, biologists have catalogued about 1.5 million plants and animals.

They say they've found 5,722 species living in the extreme ocean depths, waters deeper than 3,280 feet.

"The deep sea was considered a desert until not so long ago; it's quite amazing to have documented close to 20,000 forms of life in a zone that was thought to be barren," said Jesse Ausubel with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a sponsor of the census. "The deep sea is the least explored environment on earth."

More than 40 new species of coral were documented on deep-sea mountains, along with cities of brittlestars and anemone gardens. Nearly 500 new species ranging from single-celled creatures to large squid were charted in the abyssal plains and basins.

Also of importance were the 170 new species that get their energy from chemicals spewing from ocean-bottom vents and seeps. Among them was a family of "yeti crabs," which have silky, hairlike filaments on the legs.

In the mid-Atlantic, researchers found 40 new species and 1,000 in all, said Odd Aksel Bergstad, an oceanographer with the University of Bergen in Norway who was reached by telephone in the Azores islands.

"It was a surprise to me to find such rich communities in the middle of the ocean," he said. "There were not even good maps for the area. Our understanding of the biodiversity there was very weak."

More than 2,000 scientists from 80 countries are working to catalog the oceans' species.

Researching the abyss has been costly and difficult because it involved deep-towed cameras, sonar and remotely operated vehicles that cost $50,000 a day to operate, Carney said.

Once the census is complete, the plan is to publish three books: a popular survey of sea life, a second book with chapters for each working group and a third focusing on biodiversity.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php...show_article=1
 
Old November 24th, 2009 #3
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I love to watch the shows about deep ocean species. It's amazing how these organisms can survive in the dark sulphur heavy deep. In February I'll be starting a 20 gallon marine aquarium. I think it would be fun to be able to sustain a living salt water ecosystem in my house.
 
Old January 4th, 2010 #4
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New fox subspecies uncovered in California

January 03, 2010

Heavily-populated California may be one of the last places one would expect to find a new mammal, but the Sacramento Bee reports that genetic evidence has revealed a new subspecies of red fox.

"The fact that the evidence is pointing toward it as a native species – and a native species that we didn't know about – is kind of an amazing development," Armand Gonzales, a wildlife program manager at the California Department of Fish and Game, told the Sacramento Bee. "That doesn't happen very often."

The subspecies, now named the Sacramento Valley red fox, was long thought to be an alien species, introduced from the East Coast. But genetic testing by Ben Sacks, an assistant professor of biology at both the University of California, Davis, and California State University, Sacramento, shows that not only are the foxes unique, but they are Californian through-and-through. Davis research will be published in Conservation Genetics.

Davis says he believes the Sacramento Valley red fox are most closely related to the endangered Sierra Nevadan fox. Next he plans to study whether or not the newly-uncovered subspecies is threatened.

The Sacramento Valley red fox is outwardly identical to the red fox.

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0103-hance_fox.html
 
Old October 5th, 2010 #5
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Just found this photo gallery:

http://bazonline.ch/wissen/natur/Tau...story/30866249



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Originally Posted by Dan_O View Post
I love to watch the shows about deep ocean species...
Have you ever contemplated taking up deep sea diving, Sir?


These admirable creatures only come out for feeding and mating. Sort of reminds me of some above water species:

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Old January 4th, 2010 #6
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Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
'Veggie' spider shuns meat diet
By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC News
So now we've got vegan spiders and tomatoes that eat meat. Time to rethink my worldview.
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Old January 4th, 2010 #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor Alexander View Post
So now we've got vegan spiders and tomatoes that eat meat. Time to rethink my worldview.
Wow! I wonder if we could get UFC interested in a match. It's smack down time!

Mike
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Old January 7th, 2010 #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor Alexander View Post
So now we've got vegan spiders and tomatoes that eat meat. Time to rethink my worldview.

i would like to know more about this meat eating tomato
 
Old October 4th, 2010 #9
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Census of Marine Life reveals extent of ocean mystery

04 October 2010

The first global picture of life in the oceans is released today, with the completion of the decade-long Census of Marine Life.

But despite its 2700 scientists spending over 9000 days at sea, the Census has only scratched the surface of the ocean's biodiversity.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...n-mystery.html
 
Old September 29th, 2014 #10
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Biologist Discover New Poison Dart Frog Species in Panama




Biologists have discovered a new bright orange dart frog species with a unique call in Donoso, Panama.

The frog that was hidden in the headwaters of the Rio Cano in Panama, grabbed the attention of the researchers for the first time when they heard the unique characteristic call. The specimen was described by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Universidad Autonoma de Chiriqui, Panama and Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.

The poison dart frog dubbed 'Andinobates geminisae' after Geminis Vargas - the wife of co-author Marcos Ponce - for her support. The species was initially collected in February 21, 2011 by field assistant Samuel Valdes.

Apart from the specimens at headwaters of the Rio Cano, biologists Marcos Ponce and Abel Batista collected additional specimens between Rio Cocle del Norte and the Rio Belen. These specimens were later transferred to the University of Panama.

"Abel Batista and Marcos Ponce were the first to note the presence of this species," said Smithsonian herpetologist Cesar Jaramillo. "They've known it was there for several years. However, they were not sure if it was only a variety of another poison dart frog species, Oophaga pumilio, which exhibits tremendous color variation. Based on morphological characteristics of the adult and the tadpole, I thought it might be a new species of Andinobates."

It was only after Professor Andrew Crawford at the Universidad de Los Andes sequenced the DNA of the bright orange frog, the researchers confirmed that the new species was new poisonous dart frog called Andinobates. Further details on the frog's genetics are available at the Barcode of Life Data System and in GenBank.

Sadly, since this new frog species was collected from the small area, threats like habitat loss and gathering the species for pet trade cause a great harm to their existence. Due to this, the biologists recommend the formulation of special conservation plans to guarantee the survival of the species.

"A. geminisae is included in the captive breeding program of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation project, a consortium of six zoos and research institutions dedicated to saving amphibians from the chytrid fungal disease, which is decimating amphibians worldwide, and habitat loss," according to the news release.

The finding is published this week in Zootaxa.

The recording call of the new dart frog is available at AmphibiaWeb.Org.

Biologist Discover New Poison Dart Frog Species in Panama
 
Old January 14th, 2015 #11
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Scientists discover new species of legless amphibian in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains



Scientists have discovered a new species of legless amphibian in Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains.

The new species, Ichthyophis cardamomensis, is a caecilian, an order of limbless amphibians often mistaken for snakes, with larger species known to grow to 1.5 metres in length. This discovery, at only 30 cm, is linked to the continuing ground-breaking work at the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (CBC) in Phnom Penh, a joint initiative of Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP).
Leading Cambodian FFI herpetologist Neang Thy has been researching amphibians and reptiles since 2003 and is very excited that the I. cardamomensis species has been officially confirmed. This discovery is one of three new species of unstriped Ichthyophis caecelians (the other two were found in Vietnam) introduced in the 'New Ichthyophis species from Indochina' paper published recently in the Organisms Diversity & Evolution scientific journal (published by the Society for Biological Systematics).

Between 2009 and 2011, Cambodian species samples were collected by Neang Thy and Dr Lee Grismer from the US La Sierra University with final confirmation from lead paper author, Dr Peter Geissler from the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart, Germany.

Why caecilians are important to conservation

The I.cardamomensis species is only the second caecilian species ever discovered in Cambodia. The other is the striped Koa Tao Island caecilian, I. kohtaoensis, which is also found in, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

"These discoveries are important to demonstrate that much of Cambodia's biodiversity remains unknown and unstudied by science, and many more areas need to be searched," Thy said.

The forested Cardamom Mountains Range represents some of the largest remaining areas of habitat for more than 80 threatened species, including Asian elephant and gaur.
Thy said in recent years the Cardamom region had revealed its extensive reptile and amphibian diversity, including frogs, turtles, lizards and crocodiles.

"We are still learning about this area and the animals in it, since it was a region
formerly held by the Khmer Rouge and the mountains were closed to researchers until the 1990s,"
he said.

"The Cardamom region it is under threat from logging, land concessions, and other habitat destruction, and the danger of any new species, including the new caecilian, is that they may be discovered one year and go extinct the next."

Caecilians have a valuable role in the ecosystems of tropical and subtropical regions, including providinga food source for the red tailed pipe snake (Cylindrophis ruffus). Caecilians eat invertebrates, such as earthworms, ants and termites.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-scienti...bodia.html#jCp
 
Old October 5th, 2010 #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bowmont View Post
i would like to know more about this meat eating tomato
I would prefer a tomato that eats shitskins.
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Old October 8th, 2010 #13
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Default 200 New Species Discovered in Papua New Guinea

200 New Species Discovered in Papua New Guinea

A biological survey of New Britain island and the Nakanai Mountains yielded the discoveries of 200 new species. Conservation International scientist Stephen Richards said, “As we flew in to land the helicopter in a montane meadow, zooming into this spectacular landscape, it was an incredible realization, knowing that no scientist has ever been there before.”

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/200...#ixzz11lPz8XSA
 
Old October 20th, 2010 #14
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Default A sub-species of Gibbon discovered in SE Asia

Graphic source:

http://www.badische-zeitung.de/panor...-35730130.html

...(Nomascus annamensis) live in treetops in difficult to access mountain regions between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia...


Quote:
...(Nomascus annamensis) leben in Baumwipfeln des schwer zugänglichen Berglandes zwischen Vietnam, Laos und Kambodscha...
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Old November 22nd, 2013 #15
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Default Five Surprising New Bat Species Found in Africa


Each less than 4 inches (10 centimeters) wide, the newfound mammals echolocate, or use their natural sonar, to find prey—mostly midges.

“It was quite a shock to find [so many] new species in one study,” said co-author Nancy Irwin, a biologist at the University of York in the U.K.

The bats belong to Vespertilionidae, the biggest and most well-known bat family. But these bats—discovered during seven expeditions by Czech scientists to Senegal’s Niokolo-Koba National Park between 2004 and 2008—are still something of a mystery. (Also see “Pictures: ‘Demon’ Bat, Other New Tube-Nosed Species Found.”)

“The real surprise,” Irwin said, was that though the new bats look similar to their bat cousins in other parts of Africa, genetically they’re different.

“This is a signal telling us that these animals have been isolated in the same place,” she said.

West African Refuge

In the case of West Africa, deep rain forests blanketed the region until about three million years ago, when much of the area became covered with giant expanses of savanna.

However some forest patches remained, and it’s here where the newfound Senegalese bat species became isolated from their cousins and diversified into new species, the study says.

That’s supported by Irwin and colleagues’ genetic research, which shows that the new bats split off from their relatives about three million years ago.

Irwin and colleagues suspect West Africa was also a “refugia” during the last Ice Age, which ended about 11,000 years ago. A refugia is an area where certain conditions allow a species or a group of species to survive during a time of change.

Much is still unknown about the new bats, including their ranges, added Irwin, whose study was published August 12 in the journal Frontiers of Zoology.

“West Africa is an amazing place,” she said, “with lots of things to be discovered and described.”

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic....cience-africa/
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Old November 22nd, 2013 #16
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Default Strange insect that ‘looks like a Troll doll’ discovered in South American rainforest


This strange-looking insect which resembles a fuzzy-headed Troll doll toy has got scientists scratching their heads.

The 7mm-long creature has hair-like feelers sticking out of its rear and orange dots on its body.

It was discovered by a team of US-led researchers in the South American rainforest.



They believe its closest family is probably the nymph.

Dr Trond Larsen, from Princeton University, said:’I have spent hours searching drawers of nymphs to compare it to other species, but have only been able to narrow it down from 16 to four.’

http://metro.co.uk/2013/11/19/strang...orest-4192135/
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Old April 9th, 2014 #17
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Default New Species Discovered

In NSW Australia:

Quote:
Hidden in one of Australia's most developed and fastest growing areas lives one of the world's smallest freshwater crayfish species. Robert B McCormack the Team Leader for the Australian Crayfish Project described the new species belonging to the genus Gramastacus, after 8 years of research in the swamps and creeks of coastal New South Wales, Australia. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Being a small crayfish species it has remained undescribed and undiscovered in one of the fastest developing regions of Australia. Only one other species of Gramastacus crayfish is known and it occurs some 900 km away in the Grampians region of Victoria.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0408111723.htm
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Old April 10th, 2014 #18
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Newly discovered species of beautiful snails may be going extinct

By Tanya Lewis and Live Science, Published: April 7



They look like ethereal little beings from another planet, but they’re are actually newly discovered species of snail. And unfortunately, some of them are already going extinct.

A team of biologists catalogued 31 species of the snail genus Plectostoma from Malaysia, Sumatra and Thailand, 10 of which were new to science. But the snails live on limestone hills mined by cement companies, which threaten to destroy the snails and their habitat along with them.
in D.C.

Dressed in shells of neon orange, lilac and crimson, the snails dazzle the eyes. “They flaunt all shell-coiling rules, by having very irregularly coiled and ornamented shells, making them look like microjewelry,” said study researcher Thor-Seng Liew of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands. [Photos: Gorgeous Neon Malaysian Snails]

Liew and his colleagues imaged the shells using a micro-CT scanner, a device that produces 3-D X-rays of tiny objects.

The snails live only on limestone hills, which are rare in Southeast Asia, so each snail colony is isolated from the others. As a result, many of the species are endemic to a single hill.

This limited habitat means that when mining companies quarry the hills for cement, they can destroy entire species of snail. Plectostoma sciaphilum already went extinct when its hill was mined around 2003. At least six other snail species face similar threats; for instance, P. tenggekensis, one of the species found in the study, may be gone by the end of 2014, the researchers said.

To raise awareness about these exquisite invertebrates, the researchers named some of the new species after conservationists and politicians who have supported preservation of the hills these snails call home. (For example, Plectostoma whitteni was named after Tony Whitten, a former senior biodiversity specialist for the World Bank and the current regional director for Asia-Pacific Fauna & Flora International.)

All of the species were described last week in the journal ZooKeys.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...67d_story.html

Last edited by Alex Linder; April 10th, 2014 at 08:50 AM.
 
Old April 10th, 2014 #19
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New Species: Pink-and-Yellow Frog With Spikes
Posted by Carrie Arnold in Weird & Wild on April 3, 2014

High in the remote mountains of Vietnam, scientists have found a “striking” new species of pink-and-yellow frog covered with sharp spikes.

Jodi Rowley, an expert on Southeast Asian amphibians, had never seen a frog with such spiny skin, and neither had her colleagues.



That’s because thorny tree frogs (Gracixalus lumarius), as they’re named in a new study published April 2 in the journal Zootaxa, are found only on Mount Ngoc Linh and surrounding peaks above 5,900 feet (1,800 meters). (Also see “‘Strange’ New Frog Found in Swimming Pool.”)

“Almost every tree hole we looked in had these frogs. They seem to be only from the tops of mountains in this one area in Vietnam, and this region is known to be home to a bunch of species that are found nowhere else,” said Rowley, a biologist at the Australian Museum Research Institute in Sydney. Although her and her colleagues didn’t spot that many tree holes, nearly every one they did find had a frog.

Tough Love

Rowley and colleagues regularly explore Vietnam’s mountains, home to the world’s most diverse group of amphibians. In 2013, the team revealed a new flying frog with flappy forearms, which lives not far from Ho Chi Minh City.

The high peaks of central Vietnam might not seem the most logical place to go hunting for amphibians—the terrain is steep and rocky, and has almost no standing water in which the frogs can live. But Vietnam’s mountain frogs, Rowley and her team found, make do by hanging out in small tree hollows filled with water. (See National Geographic’s Vietnam photos.)

It was on one such tree that Rowley spotted the roughly two-inch-long (five-centimeter-long) thorny tree frog.

The animal’s most distinctive feature is a layer of spikes, which cover the backs and heads of male frogs. “They feel just like sandpaper,” said Rowley, who has received funding from the National Geographic Committee on Research and Exploration. The spikes are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up your fingernails and rhinoceros horns.

Although little is known about the frog’s ecology and natural history, Rowley believes that the spikes—which get bigger during mating season—help females identify males.

Frog’s Uncertain Future

But this impressive armor won’t help the frog endure the many threats to its future.

Southeast Asia has the highest deforestation rate on the planet, and because the frog’s habitat is limited to just a few mountains, it’s particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and climate change, which will likely alter mountaintop climates drastically, Rowley said on her blog. (See “7 Species Hit Hard by Climate Change—Including One That’s Already Extinct.”)

“Now that we know the species exists,” she said, “we hope to ensure its continued survival.”

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic....science-world/
 
Old April 10th, 2014 #20
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A new species of horseshoe worm discovered in Japan after a 62-year gap

IMAGE: This is Phoronis emigi, preserved in formalin.

The horseshoe worm is a worm-like marine invertebrate inhabiting both hard and soft substrates such as rock, bivalve shells, and sandy bottom. The name "horseshoe" refers to the U-shaped crown of tentacles which is called "lophophore." Horseshoe worms comprise a small phylum Phoronida, which contains only ten species decorating the bottom of the oceans.

The new species Phoronis emigi, the eleventh member of the group described in the open access journal ZooKeys, comes after a long 62 year gap of new discoveries in the phylum. It is unique in the number and arrangement of body-wall muscle bundles and the position of the nephridia which is the excretory organ of some invertebrates. The new species is morphologically similar to sand-dwelling species Phoronis psammophila and it is also closely related to Phoronis hippocrepia, which inhabits hard substrate.

The morphology of the topotypes for Phoronis ijimai is also described in this study after 117 years since its original description. The combination of a detailed observation of the internal morphologies and the molecular phylogenetic analyses including the topotypes ensure a synonymy between P. ijimai and the northeastern pacific species Phoronis vancouverensis that has long been disputed.

"It is necessary to use both internal anatomy and molecular data for reveal the global diversity of horseshoe worm. The known phoronid diversity still remains low, with all specimens reported from limited habitats and the localities by the limited reports. Investigations at new localities or habitats may yield add

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-ans040414.php
 
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