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

November 24, 2020

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 is unknown.

Researchers from Tohoku University, Kyushu University, Mie University, Hiroshima University and the University of Copenhagen reported on a new species of Loricifera inhabiting Japan's area from the continental slope to the deeper sea - roughly 177 m to 1059 m below the sea. This marks the second time a new Loricifera species has been found near Japan; the last one was discovered in 1988 in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench.

Fujimoto and his team hope to uncover as much as they can about this rare species. "Each new species provides us with answers, but also more questions. We will keep on looking for these extraordinary animals to understand the species' diversity, ecology, life history and evolution."
-end-


Tohoku University

Related Diversity Articles from Brightsurf:

More plant diversity, less pesticides
Increasing plant diversity enhances the natural control of insect herbivory in grasslands.

Insect diversity boosted by combination of crop diversity and semi-natural habitats
To enhance the number of beneficial insect species in agricultural land, preserving semi-natural habitats and promoting crop diversity are both needed, according to new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied of Ecology.

Ethnolinguistic diversity slows down urban growth
Where various ethnic groups live together, cities grow at a slower rate.

Protecting scientific diversity
The COVID-19 pandemic means that scientists face great challenges because they have to reorient, interrupt or even cancel research and teaching.

Cultural diversity in chimpanzees
Termite fishing by chimpanzees was thought to occur in only two forms with one or multiple tools, from either above-ground or underground termite nests.

Bursts of diversity in the gut microbiota
The diversity of bacteria in the human gut is an important biomarker of health, influences multiple diseases, such as obesity and inflammatory bowel diseases and affects various treatments.

Underestimated chemical diversity
An international team of researchers has conducted a global review of all registered industrial chemicals: some 350,000 different substances are produced and traded around the world -- well in excess of the 100,000 reached in previous estimates.

New world map of fish genetic diversity
An international research team from ETH Zurich and French universities has studied genetic diversity among fish around the world for the first time.

Biological diversity as a factor of production
Can the biodiversity of ecosystems be considered a factor of production?

Fungal diversity and its relationship to the future of forests
Stanford researchers predict that climate change will reduce the diversity of symbiotic fungi that help trees grow.

Read More: Diversity News and Diversity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.