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Researchers sample a DC swamp to study a spineless creature

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posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 02:27 PM

While checking EurekAlert for something interesting to read, I found an article about an endangered amphipod that lives in D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. If the article’s title alone wasn’t enough, this next part appears to be full of innuendo.

Its name is Stygobromus hayi, the Hay's Spring amphipod. It is spineless. It lacks vision. It is an opportunistic feeder, consuming whatever resources are available - perhaps including the remains of its own kind.


It’s extremely difficult to study them without threatening their existence. These creatures live in swampy areas and Washington D.C. is their only known home in the world. They have become increasingly rare and are now on the U.S. endangered species list.

"Yes, it's small, it's white, it's eyeless, it lives underground," said Matthew Niemiller, an ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey who led a recent study to search for the creature in its Rock Creek Park home. "It's not a cute, cuddly or charismatic species.

The creatures are an important indicator of the ecosystem’s integrity and overall quality. They play a role in the purification of D.C. and the cycles it goes through. Considering that their habitat is subterranean, they are particularly hard to observe and study.

"To find out where species are located and how many there are, we have to disturb the site," Niemiller said.

The process involves sifting through swampy areas that appear after a series of leaks, forcing them to the surface where they can be observed naturally.

"We also don't know how long DNA persists in these systems and whether we're detecting animals that are still alive," Niemiller said.

Taking them out of their environment is almost impossible without making sacrifices, so researchers are looking for specific traces of DNA that has been left behind in places where they like to congregate.

An adult swamp creature serving
as a host for egg sack production.

"As funding becomes tighter, we need to think about more efficient ways to monitor and protect protest these species," he said.

The next time someone yells, “DRAIN THE SWAMP,” kindly inform them of these endangered creatures that call the swamp their home. Maybe it’s time that we relocated these creatures to a secure facility, where they can remain in captivity and be studied.

Have a nice day!!

edit on 20-6-2017 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 02:29 PM

It is spineless. It lacks vision. It is an opportunistic feeder, consuming whatever resources are available - perhaps including the remains of its own kind.

Sounds like congress

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 02:35 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

I heard "DC Swamp" and "Spineless" in the same sentence and thought we were investigating spineless politicians.

On-topic: Fascinating, I'd never heard of this animal before. GREAT comedic relief with Hillary "an adult with its egg sac" and Golem/Smeagle lol thank you for brightening my day!

PS OP love your new cephalopod avatar
thanks for sharing this with us!
edit on 19-6-2017 by FamCore because: added

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 02:42 PM
I wonder does it the irony!

To add, hey below, get rid of that bloody gif...I'm eating my tea!

edit on 19-6-2017 by smurfy because: Text.

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 02:43 PM

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 03:13 PM
I heard this is actually an invasive species.
They swim in s*** all over your fishing hole and swim off.
edit on 19-6-2017 by JAY1980 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 03:31 PM
Weird little crustacean thingy.

And, Ewwww!!

The only thing missing from the OP is an obligatory, "MODS! If this is the wrong forum..."

9.5 of 10!!

posted on Jun, 19 2017 @ 05:24 PM
I smell fear of 2018.

posted on Jun, 20 2017 @ 04:00 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


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