Thursday, 24 April 2014

New Crustaceans Found Crawling on Dead Whale Bones Off Antarctica

By Wynne Parry, Live Science Contributor | April 23, 2014 07:47am ET

A new species of louselike crustacean has been discovered living on the bones of a dead whale at the bottom of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.

British researchers using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to explore the deep seafloor stumbled across the bare bones of a minke whale. Speckling the bones were tiny animals that resembled wood lice, only smaller, the researchers discovered.

The bones "were absolutely covered in these little critters — there were 500 to 6,000 specimens per square meter [11 square feet]," Katrin Linse, a researcher with the British Antarctic Survey who led the study, said in a statement.

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