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Abyssal monsters that revealed what they are

The waters of the Gulf of Mexico harbor small grotesque creatures with armor-like horns, malformed torso, and spikes protruding from the sides. They appear in an orange and blue array, but some can be seen through. Some look like some aliens and some Notre Dame look like haunchbacks. Those are the visions that make nightmares. But for marine scientist Heather Blacken Grissum, they are mostly shrimp. Some are lobsters. She says they are all larvae.


There have been some observations of these strange miniature sized monsters in the last few centuries, but no one knew what they really were. PhD candidates Carlos Varela and Cracken-Grissom used deep-sea forensic medicine to identify 14 species of these larvae by matching unknown larvae to known adults.

The research team has a big net Deep sea In the bay to get a specimen. Returning to the lab, they performed genetic tests to identify the species to which they belong in order to connect the points of the evolutionary family tree. Shrimp are known to undergo multiple larval stages, and Breaken-Grissom said that some of the species they identified experience many different larval stages throughout them. life cycle.. Some of the species they collected were seen by scientists only a few times in the form of larvae, but some were never seen.

“I like being able to uncover this mysterious and strange world that we normally can’t see,” said Cracken-Grissom.

This is not the first time Bracken-Grissom has given an identity to a deep-sea monster. Among the specimens collected in this latest study was an intact larva that she had only seen once before. Race She identified in 2012. Originally known as Cerataspismonstrosa, Bracken Grissum used the same genetic techniques to reveal to scientists that this little monster is actually a young form of shrimp known to scientists as Plesiopenaeus armatus. ..

Abyssal monsters that revealed what they are

Researchers have discovered different species at different stages of the larva that could be connected to adults using genetic testing.Credits: Florida International University

“Many of these larvae are found in the mesopelagic zone, Open water “At a distance of 200-1,000 meters, they settle on the deep sea as adults, mostly prey to fish, deep-sea marine mammals, and cephalopods, which means they are important to the food chain,” said Bracken Grissum. “.

Varela and Breaken-Grissom provided insights into these 14 creatures, but there are countless other creatures at various life cycle stages where scientists still do not know who moms and dads are. .. Solving these mysteries in the name of biodiversity primarily drives Bracken-Grissom to continue its search.

The team collected the latest larval specimens as part of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.The survey results are published at Diversity..


Meet the newly discovered hermit crab, Heather Crab


For more information:
Carlos Varela et al, A Mysterious World Revealed: Larval-Adult Matching of Deep-Sea Shrimps from the Gulf of Mexico, Diversity (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / d13100457

Quote: Deep-sea monsters (October 19, 2021) revealing what they are from https: //phys.org/news/2021-10-monsters-deep-revealed.html October 19, 2021 Obtained on the day

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Abyssal monsters that revealed what they are

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