Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Octopus Family Tree Traced Using New Molecular Evidence

Date:
November 13, 2008
Source:
Queen's University Belfast
Summary:
Many of the world's deep-sea octopuses evolved from species that lived in the Southern Ocean, according to new molecular evidence reported by researchers.

Megaleledon setebos, the closest living relative of the octopuses' common ancestor.
Credit: Census of Marine Life

Octopuses started migrating to new ocean basins more than 30 million years ago as Antarctica cooled and large ice-sheets grew.

These huge climatic events created a 'thermohaline expressway' - a northbound flow of deep cold water, providing new habitat for the animals previously confined to the sea floor around Antarctica, according to new research led by Dr Louise Allcock at Queen's School of Biological Sciences and colleagues from Cambridge University and British Antarctic Survey.

Isolated in new habitat conditions, many different species evolved. Some octopuses lost their defensive ink sacs because there was no need for the defence mechanisms in the pitch black waters more than two kilometres below the surface.

Dr Allcock, who was assisted on the study by Dr Jan Strugnell and Dr Paulo Prodφhl from Queen's, said: "It is clear from our research that climate change can have profound effects on biodiversity, with impacts even extending into habitats such as the deep oceans which you might expect would be partially protected from it. "If octopuses radiated in this way, it's likely that other fauna did so also, so we have helped explain where some of the deep-sea biodiversity comes from."

This revelation into the global distribution and diversity of deep-sea fauna, to be reported this week in the respected scientific journal Cladistics, was made possible by intensive sampling during International Polar Year expeditions.

The findings form part of the first Census of Marine Life (CoML), set to be completed in late 2010. It aims to assess and explain the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life in the oceans, past, present and future.

The project, which began in 2000, involves more than 2,000 scientists from 82 nations.

The findings of a study funded by the National Environment Research Council and will be reported at a conference in Spain. The World Conference on Marine Biodiversity is taking place in Valencia between 11 and 15 November.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University Belfast. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen's University Belfast. "Octopus Family Tree Traced Using New Molecular Evidence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081112113610.htm>.
Queen's University Belfast. (2008, November 13). Octopus Family Tree Traced Using New Molecular Evidence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081112113610.htm
Queen's University Belfast. "Octopus Family Tree Traced Using New Molecular Evidence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081112113610.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins