Monday, October 3, 2011

New Species Discovered on Whale Skeleton

We have recently talked about the idea of the food chain, how every single specie is connected either as the top of the food chain, the bottom, or somewhere in the middle. Regardless, every specie plays a role in the ecosystem, however, there are keystone species that have major impact on their ecosystem. It is important to preserve these keystone species because without them, the ecosystem can fall apart.

In an article by Science Daily, new species are discovered on whale skeleton. When a whale dies, its remain sinks to the bottom of the ocean, providing nutrients for countless fish and other bottom dwellers.

"A dissertation from the Department of Zoology at the University of Gothenburg describes no fewer than nine previously unknown species of these bacteria-grazing bristleworms...The family tree of bristleworms was explored using molecular data. The DNA analyses show that there are several so-called cryptic bristleworm species, meaning species that despite looking identical differ very much genetically. The analyses show that the adaptation to a life on whale cadavers has occurred in species from different evolutionary paths and at several points in time."

The efforts of such organizations like the Sea Shepherd to preserve whales are very important for the ecosystem.

Keep up the great works Sea Shepherd!

University of Gothenburg. "New Species Discovered On Whale Skeletons." ScienceDaily, 21 Sep. 2009. Web. 3 Oct. 2011

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