Thursday 15 August 2019

Tiny snapping worms make one of the loudest noises in the ocean, study shows

AUGUST 8, 2019

by Justin Dupuis, University of Alberta
When marine biologist Richard Palmer saw a video of sea-dwelling worms snapping at each other and making one of the loudest sounds ever measured in aquatic animals, he couldn't believe his ears.
"The biomechanics allowing the animals to do this are both puzzling and extraordinary," said Palmer, a professor emeritus at the University of Alberta. "When I first saw their video and audio recordings, my eyes just popped out of my head because it was so unexpected."
The video had been sent to him by Ryutaro Goto, a Japanese scientist who asked him to help figure out how these invertebrates were capable of producing such loud sounds.
The worms were first discovered in the finger-like protuberances of glass sea sponges collected off the coast of Japan during a 2017 dredging expedition.
Isao Hirabayashi had been the first to hear the sound when a shipment of the newly discovered species was brought to the Kushimoto Marine Park, where he was the curator. Together with Goto, a marine biology professor from the University of Kyoto, they recorded the mysterious sounds and found they were made by the worms.

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