A new species of rare phylum Loricifera discovered in the deep-sea surrounding Japan — ScienceDaily

The Loricifera is a microscopic, sediment-dwelling marine invertebrate, with a head covered in over 200 spines and an abdomen with a protective shell — known as a lorica. Since it was first discovered in 1983, just under 40 species have been written about. Now, that number is one more thanks to a group of scientists who reported on a new genus and species of Loricifera.

Their findings were published in the Journal Marine Biodiversity.

“Loricifera is a rare animal that is still under-researched, but our recent finding improves our understanding of the species’ diversity,” said lead author Shinta Fujimoto.

Loricifera typically inhabit the space between sand and mud particles in the ocean. Fossils exist from the Cambrian period, suggesting a long existence on Earth. They have complicated life cycles and a few species are reported to live in anoxic environments. Their exact position on the animal tree of life

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Elusive, mysterious sighting of bigfin squid filmed by deep-sea explorers

The bigfin squid has tentacles that extend beyond 5 feet.


CSIRO/Osterhage et al.

At CNET Science, we tend to focus a lot on the worlds and life beyond Earth. We love space. The hellscape lava planets and the icy moons in our solar system are intriguing, unexplored places that hold a lot of secrets. That makes it easy to forget we’re hiding a vast, mysterious world beneath the surface of our oceans, fathoms below the waves. Every now and again, we’re reminded of the wonders (and nightmares) of the deep.

New sightings of the bigfin squid, a cephalopod with tentacles that can grow up to 26 feet long, roaming the ocean where sunlight can’t reach, provide one such reminder. 

In a study published Wednesday in

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Giant squid that washed ashore in South Africa is a rare glimpse of a deep-sea creature

Giant squids are fantastical creatures that live in the crushing depths of the ocean and are rarely seen except in adventure books.

But this winter in South Africa (which was summer in the United States), a baby giant squid washed up on a beach northwest of Cape Town. It lay there, its grey-pink tentacles spread on the sand, and the beachgoers who first saw it realized it was breathing. It had even squirted some of its dark ink onto the sand, an action typically used to confuse predators and one of the reasons that scientist Wayne Florence called the discovery a “stunning find.”

Days before, the giant squid probably had been swimming and searching for food. It would have used those fierce tentacles – the longest was 14 feet – to latch onto its prey and pull it closer to its beaklike mouth.

The animal died before it could be

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Giant squid that washed ashore in South Africa is a rare glimpse of the deep-sea creature

Days before, the giant squid probably had been swimming and searching for food. It would have used those fierce tentacles — the longest was 14 feet — to latch onto its prey and pull it closer to its beaklike mouth.

The animal died before it could be brought to the nearby Iziko South African Museum, where Florence works. The museum has about 20 giant squid specimens, including one that is twice as long as the new arrival. Most of the others were collected after being caught in fishing boats’ nets, making the recent undamaged find special.

The youngster was probably 1 or 2 years old. Giant squids tend to have short lives, lasting about five years, Florence said.

While tissue samples from the latest discovery are being analyzed, scientists from around the world may gather in South Africa for additional research once coronavirus pandemic restrictions are lifted.

They and their

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