Bones Taste Good

Not just whale bones but all bones. Osedax worms are those bone-eating snot flowers, purveyor of all rotten and whale-like, masters of polyandry, and more diverse than we thought. Researchers here at MBARI placed cow bones, in constructed bone trees, on the seafloor and found Osedax fancies them too. Not as much though! Densities were significantly lower than those typical of whale bones.

Figure above from Jones et al. (2007). Figure 1. (a) Deployed ‘bone tree’ adjacent towhale-2893 during May 2006. (b) In situ close-up fromhigh definition video of Osedax rubiplumus and O. nude-palp-A on cow bone adjacent to whale-1820. (c) Close-up of the four palps from O. nude-palp-A showing paired blood vessels in each palp and absence of pinnules. (d )Dwarf (paedomorphic) males isolated fromthe tube of O. rubiplumus specimen shown in (b).

Write up in Nature News.

Paper at Proceedings of the Royal Society

2 Replies to “Bones Taste Good”

  1. This is all part of the bone-devouring worm’s plan. First they take our dolphins, next? It’ll be our women and children!! Madness I tell you! Destroy all zombie worms!

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