Taxonomy

Morphology

Osedax mucofloris extends out of the whale bone into the seawater. The major features of this portion are: 

  • Feathered plumes, which are the gills, or branchiae, that bring oxygen down to the root structure embedded in the whale bone. 
  • A cylinder-shaped column that extends furthest into the water column. Scientists think this structure, an oviduct, shoots fertilised eggs into the water column, perhaps helping the animal to disperse tiny larvae to be carried off by ocean currents.

A detailed description of the morphology of Osedax mucofloris has been published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.

Read the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London journal article
  • The whale remains where Osedax mucofloris was first found
    Evolution

    Discover what DNA analysis has revealed and what the habitat preferences of another polychaete worm in the same family suggests about the evolution of Osedax mucofloris.