147/150: Nutty Facts about the Peanut Worm!

Animalia: Sipuncula: Phascolosomatidea: Phascolosomatida: Phascolosomatidae: Phascolosoma agassizii (Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville, 1827)

Peanut worms, also known as Sipunculids are marine worms in that typically dwell in shallow waters. Sipuncula means “little tube” or “siphon” in Latin and refers to the introvert of peanut worms, a long sensitive tube ringed with tentacles which they can extend to collect food. Continue reading “147/150: Nutty Facts about the Peanut Worm!”

142/150: A small creature with a long history

Animalia: Arthropoda: Ostracoda: Podocopida: Cyprididae: Cypridopsinae: Cypridopsis vidua (O. F. Müller, 1776)

The Ostracods are an ancient crustacean that has been around for over 50 million years! Of the nearly 70,000 species described, only 13,000 are alive today, all others being discovered as fossils. Many ostracods have found use in the field of biostratigraphy – a technique used to estimate the relative age of rock based on the type of fossils it contains.

Ostracods vary in size from 0.2 mm – 30 mm and are protected by a chitinous shell that resembles that of a mussel. While mostly found in marine water, more and more are being discovered in fresh water environments – around 2000 species in 2008 alone. The largest family of non-marine ostracods is the Cyprididae. Members of this family, such as Cypridopsis vidua have drought resistant eggs, as well as the ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually.

Some ostracods are bioluminescent. This property was useful to the Japanese army during World War II as they could be collected in jars and used as lights. The light produced was bright enough that they could to do things such as read maps while still being dark enough that their position would remain uncompromised. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen 11AlgonqNJ0059 – Coon Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada – 26-Jun-2011 Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Scanning electron image of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Paulo Corgosinho goo.gl/UaC8LN
Dorsal view of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Markus Lindholm, Anders Hobæk/Norsk institutt for vassforsking goo.gl/iUCNP8
Fossil of a large ostracod from the Silurian Soeginina Beds of Saaremaa Island, Estonia. Photo Credit: Mark A. Wilson goo.gl/1VCJnA

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: COAPP059-12

nucleotide sequence

CACTTTATATTTAATTTTTGGTGCTTGATCTGCTATATCAGGAACAGCTTTAAGAGTAATTATCCGAGCAGAGCTTGGGCAACCTGGAACATTAATTGGGAATGATCAAATTTATAATAGAATTGTTACTGCCCATGCATTTATTATGATTTTTTTTATAGTAATACCAATCATAATCGGAGGTTTTGGAAATTGATTAGTGCCTTTAATACTAGGGGCACCAGATATAGCATTCCCTCGAATAAATAATATAAGATTTTGGTTACTTCCCCCATCTTTATCCTTATTAACAATTGGGATACTCACAGAAAGAGGGGCAGGAACAGGATGAACAGTTTATCCCCCTCTGTCAAGAAACATCTCTCATGCTGGTGCTAGGGTAGACCTAACAATTTTCTCTCTACACCTAGCCGGGGCCTCATCGATTTTAGGGGCCATTAACTTCATTACTACTATTATTAATATACGAACGGCTAAAATATCTCTTGACCGAATTCCTTTATTTGTGTGGTCTGTTGGGATTACTGCTCTTCTTTTACTTTTATCCTTACCTGTTCTTGCAGGTGCAATCACTATGCTATTGACTGATCGAAACTTAAATACAACATTCTTTGACCCGGCAGGGGGTGGAGATCCTATTCTATACCAACATTTATTC

amino acid sequence

TLYLIFGAWSAMSGTALSVIIRAELGQPGTLIGNDQIYNSIVTAHAFIMIFFMVMPIMIGGFGNWLVPLMLGAPDMAFPRMNNMSFWLLPPSLSLLTIGMLTESGAGTGWTVYPPLSSNISHAGASVDLTIFSLHLAGASSILGAINFITTIINMRTAKMSLDRIPLFVWSVGITALLLLLSLPVLAGAITMLLTDRNLNTTFFDPAGGGDPILYQHLF

Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Ostracod

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAH0892

131/150: What has a lion’s mane and lives under the sea? A jellyfish!

Animalia: Cnidaria: Scyphozoa: Semaeostomeae: Cyaneidae: Cyanea: Cyanea capillata (Linnaeus, 1758)

The Lion’s Mane jellyfish is the largest species of jellyfish in the world. The largest specimen was found in 1870 at Massachusetts Bay, United States with a bell diameter of 2.3 meters and tentacles reaching 37 meters, which is longer than the length of a blue whale! These magnificent creatures are known to like cold temperatures and live around northern hemisphere in the north Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. Due to their large size, certain fish and shrimp species find protection and shelter from their predators by hiding around the jellyfish’s body. As for their diet, the lion’s mane jellyfish’s favourites are zooplankton, moon jellies and ctenophores. They live a pelagic lifestyle, roaming around open seas and often fall to prey to seabirds, ocean sunfish and other jellyfish species. In fact, the leatherback sea turtle feeds almost entirely on this species. Uhm, yum? #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Small, juvenile lion’s mane jellyfish appear in tan and orange colours, but as they get older, they turn into a reddish or purplish shade. Photo Credit: Brian Gratwicke goo.gl/DkBexQ
The bell of the lion’s mane jellyfish can reach a diameter of 2 meters! Photo Credit: Arnstein Rønning goo.gl/f9HLYB
Each tentacle cluster of a lion’s mane jellyfish can have up to 100 tentacles! Photo Credit: Derek Keats goo.gl/CA1KK3

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: CCSMA230-10

nucleotide sequence

AACATTATATTTAATATTTGGTGCTTTTTCAGCCATGATTGGTACAGCTTTTAGTATGATAATAAGATTAGAGCTCTCAGGCCCAGGGTCTATGCTCGGAGACGACCAAATATATAATGTTATAGTAACAGCTCATGCTCTTGTTATGATATTCTTTTTTGTGATGCCCGTGTTGATTGGGGGTTTCGGAAATTGATTTGTCCCACTATATATTGGAAGTCCAGATATGGCTTTCCCTAGACTTAATAACATTAGTTTTTGATTATTACCTCCAGCCCTCCTATTATTATTAGGGTCTTCCTTAATTGAACAAGGAGCTGGAACAGGTTGGACTATTTATCCTCCTCTATCTTCCATACAATTTCATTCTGGGGGGTCAGTAGATATGGCTATATTTAGTTTACATTTAGCTGGTGCTTCCTCTATAATGGGAGCCATAAATTTTATAACAACAATTTTTAACATGAGAGCTCCGGGTATGTCAATGGATAGGTTGCCTCTATTTGTATGGTCAGTACTGGTAACAGCCATTCTTTTACTATTATCCTTACCTGTGTTAGCTGGGGCAATTACAATGTTATTAACAGACAGGAATTTTAANACCTCTTTTTTCGACCCCGCAGGCGGAGGAGACCCAATCTTGTTTCAACACCTATTT

amino acid sequence

TLYLIFGAFSAMIGTAFSMIIRLELSGPGSMLGDDQIYNVIVTAHALVMIFFFVMPVLIGGFGNWFVPLYIGSPDMAFPRLNNISFWLLPPALLLLLGSSLIEQGAGTGWTIYPPLSSIQFHSGGSVDMAIFSLHLAGASSIMGAINFITTIFNMRAPGMSMDRLPLFVWSVLVTAILLLLSLPVLAGAITMLLTDRNFXTSFFDPAGGGDPILFQHLF

Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Lion's mane jellyfish

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAF9673

105/150: Sea pens – not your typical corals

Animalia: Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Pennatulacea: Pennatulidae: Pennatula: Pennatula aculeata (Danielssen, 1860)

Sea pens are colonial marine cnidarians found worldwide and normally at depths greater than 10 meters. Sea pens prefer deeper waters because they can avoid uprooting due to water turbulence. They live most of their lives in a sessile (immobile) state, however they can relocate and anchor themselves in more desirable areas where steadier streams of their food source, plankton, might be found. Continue reading “105/150: Sea pens – not your typical corals”

99/150: Lampshells – Watt do you mean it’s not a mussel?

Animalia: Brachiopoda: Rhynchonellata: Terebratulida: Terebratellidae: Terebrataliinae: Terebratalia: Terebratalia transversa (Sowerby, 1846)

Lampshells, including Terebratalia transversa, belong to the phylum Brachiopoda, which translates to arm-foot in Greek. Brachiopods have been around for millions of years, dominating the oceans in the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), but now have a smaller distribution and are known as living fossils as some species have survived for millions of years unchanged. Continue reading “99/150: Lampshells – Watt do you mean it’s not a mussel?”

81/150: This species is just peachy!

Animalia: Chordata: Ascidiacea: Stolidobranchia: Pyuridae: Halocynthia: Halocynthia pyriformis (Linnaeus)

Sea peaches are part of the class of invertebrates Ascidiacea – known as sea squirts or tunicates. They are more closely related to chordates (animals with a back bone) than other invertebrates because at some point in their life stage they exhibit vertebrate characteristics such as a dorsal hollow nerve cord, a notochord, a post-anal tail, and pharyngeal slits. However they never develop a bony backbone. Continue reading “81/150: This species is just peachy!”

64/150: Birds of the Sea

Animalia: Echinodermata: Crinoidea: Comatulida: Antedonidae: Heliometrinae: Florometra: Florometra serratissima (AH Clark, 1907)

While you wouldn’t think birds would be able to exist in the ocean, the common feather star Florometra serratissima could very well be considered the bird of the sea! They are able to move around either by grasping terrain with their claw-like cirri or by swimming through the water with their feather-like arms. Continue reading “64/150: Birds of the Sea”

54/150: Imagine a worm 60 metres long!

Animalia: Nemertea: Enopla: Monostilifera: Emplectonematidae: Paranemertes: Paranemertes peregrina (Coe, 1901)

Nemertea, also known as “ribbon worm” is a phylum of marine invertebrate worm-like animals that are characterized by their eversible proboscis. The proboscis is used to catch prey and comes out of the nemertean’s body and stabs its prey with a venomous tip. Continue reading “54/150: Imagine a worm 60 metres long!”