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[Article] Bone Devouring Worms

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posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 07:18 AM

"The blind worms have no proper stomachs, but employ bacteria to help break down nutrients from the whalebones [from the carcasses of dead whales that have settled to the ocean floor] and feed them into rootlike organs [...] The females have an outer tube, an inner muscular trunk, an egg-carrying oviduct and little docking points for the microscopic males [...] Females have red or red-and-white striped, feathery, gill-like structures called palps, which carry hemoglobin [...] they looked closer and found the microscopic males inside the females, living off yolk left over from their larval stages, yet full of sperm [...] A look at the DNA of the two new species suggests they evolved about 42 million years ago, about the same time whales themselves first evolved"

Not sure if that was cryptozoology proper, but it is a largish hereto unknown niche. I beleive tube worms that are at least similar to this live at deep sea vents/'black smokers'. The ones that live there also have this symbiotic bacterial mass that live inside them and process the chemicals that come out of the black smokers. The bacteria's waste serves as a nutrient source for the tube worms themselves.

The organism has resulted in a new genus being created 'Osedax', meaning bone devouring. Well, whoever came up with that one was definitely on thier toes, because thats an awesome name! Even the latin sounds cool too.

Anyway, there are other organisms that also live off these whale carcasses too, like hagfish. They're also called slime eels, they're pretty revolting (they're also not eels, but they are what 'eelskin' wallets are often made of).

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