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 Ŕvila 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.

Nemerteans are a group of invertebrates mainly found in marine waters. The research group led by Professor Ŕvila, 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 Ŕvila 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 Ŕvila 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 September 1, 2014 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 September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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