Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Where's Waldo? A new alien-like species discovered off California

Date:
July 16, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
After nearly 25 years of searching, three scientists have finally found Waldo. No, not the loveable bespectacled character in children's picture books, but rather an unusual clam discovered off the coast of California and British Columbia.

The following tentacles and foot of Waldo arthuri give it an alien appearance.
Credit: Diarmaid O'Foighil

After nearly 25 years of searching, three scientists have finally found Waldo. No, not the loveable bespectacled character in children's picture books, but rather an unusual clam discovered off the coast of California and British Columbia.

Paul Valentich-Scott from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, and Diarmaid Foighil from the University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology first began discussing this unusual clam back in 1989. Valentich-Scott discovered his strange specimens off the coast of Santa Barbara and Morro Bay, California, while Foighil uncovered his while trawling for invertebrates off Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

At a scientific conference Valentich-Scott and Foighil were chatting about clams during a break in the proceedings. As they were discussing new discoveries, the light went off. They had discovered the same new species, at the same time, but over 1,000 miles apart.

Neither scientist could identify the animal, and both were amazed by its thin, translucent shell and long willowy tentacles. Foighil was able to collect and observe living specimens of the new species. 'We were looking closely at sea urchins and noticed something crawling on the fine spines covering the urchin body', declared Foighil. 'We were amazed to see that there were minute clams crawling all over the sea urchin.'

Thus two decades of research began, trying to understand and formally describe this new animal. 'We never anticipated this would be such a long project', Valentich-Scott exclaimed. 'But every time we started in one direction we hit a wall and needed to begin again.'

Rescue finally came from doctoral student Jingchun Li at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Li is a specialist in clam DNA. She was able to amplify the DNA of the new species and compare it to other similar species. 'We were pleased to see the new species was very distinct genetically', said Li. 'However we were surprised to find that its closest relative was from the South Atlantic Ocean off Argentina.' Valentich-Scott and Foighil invited Li to collaborate on the final publication.

Valentich-Scott stated, 'This is a very peculiar animal, they only seems to live on the spines of one type of sea urchin in a commensal relationship. We found it ironic that the new species was in the genus Waldo and just couldn't help but ask, "Where's Waldo?"'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paul Valentich-Scott, Diarmaid O'Foighil, Jingchun Li. Where’s Waldo? A new commensal species, Waldo arthuri (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Galeommatidae), from the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. ZooKeys, 2013; 316: 67 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.316.4256

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Where's Waldo? A new alien-like species discovered off California." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716120022.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, July 16). Where's Waldo? A new alien-like species discovered off California. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716120022.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Where's Waldo? A new alien-like species discovered off California." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716120022.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) An international team uncovered a large ancient wine celler that likely belonged to a Cannonite ruler. 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