Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

'Zombie' Worms Attack Bones With Acid

SAN DIEGO (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they’ve discovered deep-sea “zombie worms” use acid to bore into bones of seabed skeletons and consume nutrients.

The root-like tissues worms of the Osedax family use to attach to bones contain acid-secreting enzymes, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, reported.

Living on the skeletons of whales and fish — “Osedax” is Latin for “bone devourer” — the worms have intrigued marine scientists since their discovery in 2002.

Scientists wanted to understand how worms fed on bone since they lack body parts that could physically “drill” into bones.

Scripps researcher Sigrid Katz and colleagues said they suspected the worms had a chemical strategy for penetrating the bones. The found acid-secreting enzymes were abundant in the root-like parts of the worms that attach them to bones.

“The acid is secreted through the skin of the roots region,” Katz told the BBC.

“The skin cells in this region are very long cells and the upper end has lots of [microscopic protrusions, which] enlarge the surface multiple times, so lots of acid can be secreted,” she said.

Seventeen species of the “zombie” worms have been recorded worldwide, including in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Sweden, and the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Japan and California.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “'Zombie' Worms Attack Bones With Acid”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.