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Scientists Discover New Species of Bone-eating Worms During a Study

The research, which was originally published in science journal PLOS ONE in late December, revealed that the species of worm devoured the soft tissue of alligators within 51 days.

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Updated:January 16, 2020, 4:50 PM IST
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Scientists Discover New Species of Bone-eating Worms During a Study
Representative Image.

Scientists have discovered a new species of bone-eating worm during a study in the Gulf of Mexico, reported CNN.

Alligator carcasses were dropped in the Gulf of Mexico to inquire into the deep ocean's ecosystem.

The worms discovered during the study are first of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico.

The research, which was originally published in the science journal PLOS ONE in late December, revealed that the species of worm devoured the soft tissue of alligators within 51 days.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, was carried out with an aim to explore how the community of organisms that live on the ocean floor survives without sunlight.

Basically, it was undertaken to investigate how deep-sea benthos fulfil their carbon needs. The scientists believe that the remains of animals may have helped benthos satisfy their carbon requirements.

The researchers, in 2019, deposited three alligator carcasses at a depth of around 2 kilometres in the Gulf of Mexico.

The first alligator was found to be covered within two days by giant pink crustaceans, while the second one was completely consumed within 51 days.

On the other hand, the researchers could not find what happened to the third corpse.

The scientists, in their report, said that they believe the worms not only just fed on alligators but also eaten its different types of bones.

They also divulged that no new bone-worm species had been discovered when they dropped cow bones in the same area during the previous research.

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