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 April 17, 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 April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) — Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) — Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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