New Zealand Scientists Discover World's First Unique Deep-Sea Relationship in New Species of Life
By Reissa Su | February 27, 2014 6:36 PM EST
New Zealand scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) have discovered a new crustacean species that may unlock the secrets of the deep sea. Previously unknown until now, the sand-hopper was found inside another deep sea organism from the Chatham Rise. This is the part of the ocean floor east of New Zealand.
A picture of brightly coloured coralline, bryozoans and sponges on ocean floor on Antarctic continental shelf. February 8, 2011. REUTERS
NIWA scientists identified the sand-hopper as an ampiphod species that lived inside another organism known as a bryozoan or moss animal. Marine biologist Dr Dennis Gordon said the sand-hopper's co-existence with the moss animal may be probably the only example of this kind of relationship in the world.
Dr Gordon said finding the sand-hopper is significant since little is known about relationships of organisms in the deep sea compared to marine life in shallower water.
The NIWA scientists identified males, females and young sand-hoppers measuring up to 1 cm long living inside a bryozoan 5 cm in length. They believe that sand-hoppers reproduce while inside the bryozoan. When it dies, the sand-hoppers will move to another bryozoan host.
The scientists were uncertain if the bryozoan and amphipods both benefit from this kind of relationships. It was possible that only the sand-hoppers enjoy the relationship by getting nutrients as well as protection from the bryozoan.
Dr Gordon added that there were many "weird" relationships between animals in the sea, including a type of fish living in a cucumber's rectum and a crab species forcing corals to form a gall or protective covering around it.
New Zealand scientists named the new species of sand-hoppers as "tutus" which means "safe" while the new amphipod genus is Bryoconverson which means "living in Bryozoa."
The Kiwi scientists are eager to find fresh samples for them to conduct a DNA test. Another NIWA marine biologist Anne-Nina Loerz acknowledged there was still a lot to learn about New Zealand's biodiversity.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- NASA Astronomers Unearths Mysterious Signal That 'Could Not Be Explained By Known Physics' [Watch Video]
- Richard Norris' Successful Face Transplant Lands Him in GQ Cover [WATCH VIDEOS]
- Industrial Air Pollution May Help Search for Alien Life - Scientists
- Luxury Cruise: A 'Once In A Lifetime' Trip To Experience Environment Devastation in the Arctic
- Breaking Discovery: Industrial Pollution Reached South Pole by 19th Century
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Alpha Leaks Online: Release Date, Five Features to Wait for New Smart Phone
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- Moto X Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Guide: Schedule and How to Install
- Photos of Motorola Moto X+1 Prototype and Specs Leak Online, Release Date, Four Fresh Features Revealed
- Sony Xperia Z3: Release Date, Five Features to Expect from New Android Smart Phone
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8