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9 new species found feasting on rare whale carcass find

whale_skull

Scientists are enjoying a buffet of discovery thanks to a remotely-operated vehicle surveying the ocean floor near Antarctica.

Only six whale carcasses have ever been found, and once the giant creatures float to the bottom floor, they provide a smorgasbord of seafood snack for other creatures for quite a while; this amazing find is what scientists believe to be a Minke whale that died several decades ago.

Using high definition cameras, the team from the University of Southampton, Natural History Museum, British Antarctic Survey, the National Oceanography Centre and Oxford University were able to identify a number of previously undiscovered species chowing down:

Samples also revealed several new species of deep-sea creatures thriving on the whale’s remains, including a ‘bone-eating zombie worm’ known as Osedax burrowing into the bones and a new species of isopod crustacean, similar to woodlice, crawling over the skeleton.  There were also limpets identical to those living at nearby deep-sea volcanic vents.

Let’s keep those bone-eating zombie worms on the ocean floor, though; pictures will be just fine.

Full story at Elsevier via Huffington Post.

Exciting discoveries in nature.

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