Tag Archives: zooids

Giant, Tubular Creature Caught On Camera Under The Sea

April 3, 2015 | by Kristy Hamilton

photo credit: A pyrosome (Pyrostremma spinosum). Screen capture from EaglehawkDive YouTube video / Michael Baron

What looks like a large inflatable tube is actually a pyrosome. And while it appears to be one behemoth creature, it is actually many hundreds or thousands of animals called zooids embedded in a gelatinous tube.

“One long pyrosome is actually a collection of thousands of clones, with each individual capable of copying itself and adding to the colony,” writes marine biologist Rebecca Helm in Deep Sea News.

The creature’s name means “fiery body” due to its bioluminescence, a bright green-blue glow that can light up the colony when disturbed. This intense light even inspired 19th century scientist Thomas Huxley to write, “I have just watched the moon set in all her glory, and looked at those lesser moons, the beautiful Pyrosoma, shining like white-hot cylinders in the water.”

These “cylinders in the water” can grow to formidable sizes, sometimes exceeding 12 meters (40 ft) in length. Each zooid feeds by sucking in water, filtering small particles and blowing the waste back out. This is also the method that propels the colony into motion, albeit at a very slow pace. When the zooids pause this process, the colony can sink 500-700 (1,640-2,295 ft) meters below the surface of the sea, according to New Scientist.

The footage was captured by Eaglehawk Dive Centre in Tasmania, Australia. Watch the video here:


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Deep Sea Explorers Stumble Upon A Creature They Can Hardly Believe Is Real

July 8, 2014 | by Stephen Messenger

photo credit: Nautilus Live

While there are no shortage of wacky ideas in science fiction about what creatures from other planets might look like, many weird and remarkable creatures can actually be found right here on Earth.

Recently, a team from the Nautilus Live expedition piloting a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) happened upon one of the most fascinating-looking lifeforms in the world: a rare, purple siphonophore roving through the ocean’s depths. Even the experienced deep sea explorers, well-acquainted with the marine animals, had a hard time accepting that what they were seeing was really real.

“Wow. Okay, that’s awesome,” says one ROV operator. “I can’t believe that’s a living thing.”

Amazingly, although this appears to be a single jellyfish-like animal, it is in fact a roving colony made up of thousands of individual organisms, called zooids, each contributing to the whole. However, more than just its otherworldly shape, this specimen’s purple coloring is said to be rather unusual as well.

Deep Sea News writer R.R. Helm calls it a “shocking shade”, remarking that this footage truly stands out.

“To me, the best part of science is stuff like this: seeing something that completely takes my breath away. Even after studying animals like this for the last five years, this video has me in awe. The animal captured in this footage, simply put, is stunning,” wrote Helm.

This article was provided by our partners at thedodo.com. To read the original article, gohere. Follow them on Facebook here and check out their website here.

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