US News Scientists Find New Crustacean Species Living in Whale Shark's Gills

07:15  29 october  2019
07:15  29 october  2019 Source:   gizmodo.com

Sir David Attenborough attacks whaling 'slaughter' in Seven Worlds, One Planet - his angriest series yet

  Sir David Attenborough attacks whaling 'slaughter' in Seven Worlds, One Planet - his angriest series yet New BBC landmarks series Seven Worlds, One Planet expands upon the conservation message of The Blue Planet IIFor 65 years, Sir David Attenborough has shared the marvels of the natural world in his measured tones.

(Video by GeoBeats)

Japanese scientists have discovered a new species of crustacean in the gills of a shark, according to a recent paper.

Amphipods make up an order of nearly 10,000 species that live in aquatic habitats. They’re mostly scavengers, feeding on decomposing skin, poop, and other leftovers. Some are associated with animals like sea turtles and cetaceans. This is the first one found on a whale shark, the largest fish species in the ocean. I cannot imagine that this relationship feels very good for the shark.

This Giant Toad Mimics a Deadly Venomous Viper With the World's Longest Snake Fangs to Avoid Being Eaten

  This Giant Toad Mimics a Deadly Venomous Viper With the World's Longest Snake Fangs to Avoid Being Eaten Batesian mimicry is where a harmless species avoids predators by pretending to be a dangerous or toxic one.According to the authors from the University of Texas at El Paso and the Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), this is the first example in the world of a toad pretending to be a snake to avoid predation.

Scientists sampled the whale shark’s gills with a suction pump while scuba diving in an underwater fish preserve off of Okinawa in 2017. They examined and measured the specimens under a microscope and sequenced the crustacean’s DNA, revealing that they’d discovered a whole new species of amphipod. They named it Podocerus jinbe; Podocerus from the already-existing genus, and jinbe, from the Japanese word for whale shark “Jinbē-zame.”

Whale Shark with mouth wide open feeding Whale Shark with mouth wide open feeding

These half centimeter-sized spiny creatures seem to swarm their host; the researchers found 357 males and 291 females on the animal. The amphipods don’t feed on the shark directly, the researchers wrote, but it’s possible that they were feeding on detritis entering the shark’s gills. Indeed, the creatures’ presence seemed to be making it harder for the shark to breathe, the researchers wrote in the paper published in Species Diversity. The whale shark died from unknown causes three months after the researchers found it.

New fossils offer rare glimpse at life after a global apocalypse

  New fossils offer rare glimpse at life after a global apocalypse The bone bonanza shows mammals enjoying a remarkable growth spurt just after the dinosaur-killing impact.Hundreds of fossils found in Colorado offer a snapshot of how life was rebounding in the aftermath of the mass extinction that ended the age of dinosaurs, paleontologists report today. The discovery includes the exceptionally preserved remains of at least 16 mammal species, as well as many turtles, crocodilians, and plants, that lived in the first million years after the global devastation.

Not only to these amphipods swarm sharks, but apparently similar species will swarm other creatures that enter their space, like human scuba divers.


a close up of an animal: The new species © Image: Tomikawa et al (Species Diversity) The new species

Tammy Horton, a researcher not involved with the study who studies amphipods in the National Oceanography Centre in the United Kingdom, told Gizmodo it was definitely an interesting find. But whether the species is actually associated with whale sharks or whether it was merely a local species opportunistically feeding remains to be seen.

“It highlights just how little we know about Amphipods and how there are so many new species to describe,” she wrote in an email.

Amphipods represent some of life’s extremes and have even been found in the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep. They serve an important role in the food chain recycling nutrients from trash and refuse. Whale sharks, meanwhile, are one of the largest creatures in the ocean—and by far the largest non-mammal—but are endangered and threatened by fisheries as well as vessel strikes. These animals, too, are mysterious to humans. None have been observed giving birth, for example.

'One million volunteers needed to tackle invasive non-native species'

  'One million volunteers needed to tackle invasive non-native species' One million volunteers are needed to tackle the growing threat posed by invasive non-native species such as giant hogweed which are costing the economy £1.7bn a year, MPs have said. Between 36 and 48 new invasive species will become established in the next two decades in Britain - and slowing the rate of their arrival is key to preventing their establishment, a report by the Environmental Audit Committee said.

Gallery: 50 perfectly timed photos of animals (Photo Services)

And whether or not the amphipods are actually associated with the whale shark, the find represents the union of large and small in the ocean, as well as the ubiquity of these strange, tiny creatures.

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment. We’re supporting Friends of the Earth to help solve the climate crisis, please give generously here or find out more about our campaign here.

Sea level will rise for centuries. We can control how much and how fast. .
Hitting the Paris Agreement targets will still result in rising seas. Missing them would make things worse.(Pictured) Actress Jane Fonda gestures after being arrested during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Oct. 18.

Topical videos:

usr: 3
This is interesting!