Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A brooding marine worm found in Antarctica

Date:
November 27, 2013
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
Brooding is a usual behavior in animals. However, to observe it in a marine worm is exceptional and, more surprisingly, it guards eggs from external threats.

The study describes the unusual reproductive strategy of the species Antarctonemertes riesgoae.
Credit: Sergi Taboada, UB

Brooding is a usual behavior in animals. However, to observe it in a marine worm is exceptional and, more surprisingly, it guards eggs from external threats. The scientific finding, published recently in the journal Polar Biology, was developed by researchers Conxita Àvila and Sergio Taboada, from the Department of Animal Biology of the University of Barcelona (UB) and members of the Institute of Research in Biodiversity (IRBio); Juan Junoy, from the University of Alcalá; Javier Cristobo, from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, and Gonzalo Giribet and Sónia Andrade, from the Harvard Univesity, among other experts.

Related Articles


Nemerteans are a group of invertebrates mainly found in marine waters. The research group led by Professor Àvila, who coordinates the project Actiquim developed in Antarctica, discovered a new species of nemerteans, Antarctonemertes riesgoae, which has a reproductive strategy unique in this group: it broods like hens.

In marine Antarctic waters, UB experts found some 2-3 cm long cocoons brooded by female nemerteans. During reproduction, females secrete a very dense mucous through the body wall; it solidifies when getting in touch with marine water until creating then an elastic layer. Once the cocoon is created, females lay eggs on it. Unexpectedly, they act in a non-passive way: when cocoons are disturbed, females show a defensive behavior and go out through cocoons' openings.

Egg brooding increases reproductive success

Generally, nemerteans, like other living beings, lay eggs but later they do not brood them. To date, only two nemertean species were known to brood eggs. According to the research group, this exceptional behavior is due to extreme Antarctic weather conditions. The strategy may result in an increase of reproductive success for many Antarctic species which can only reproduce themselves during the polar summer.

Actiquim project

It is important to remember that the group led by Professor Conxita Àvila participated in the discovery of a new species of Osedax, a bone-eating marine invertebrate, named Osedax deceptionensis. This species, together with the so-called Osedax antarcticus, are the two first species of this type of marine worm found in Antarctica. Professor Conxita Àvila has coordinated the project Actiquim (I and II) since its setting up in 2007. The project is funded by the former Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. Its main objective is to analyze chemical ecology in marine invertebrates which inhabit Antarctic waters.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sergi Taboada, Juan Junoy, Sónia C. S. Andrade, Gonzalo Giribet, Javier Cristobo, Conxita Avila. On the identity of two Antarctic brooding nemerteans: redescription of Antarctonemertes valida (Bürger, 1893) and description of a new species in the genus Antarctonemertes Friedrich, 1955 (Nemertea, Hoplonemertea). Polar Biology, October 2013

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "A brooding marine worm found in Antarctica." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127110349.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2013, November 27). A brooding marine worm found in Antarctica. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127110349.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "A brooding marine worm found in Antarctica." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127110349.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) — Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) — A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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