Our planet is still full of unknown living beings, and most of them live in the depths of the ocean. Recently, biologists from the Smithsonian Institute were able to find many microscopic larvae, which subsequently can grow entirely new for the people of creation. Scientists believe that they are dealing with larvae underwater worms called phoronida. To verify this, they had to resort to the study of DNA and its comparison with the molecules of the adults.
Phoronida represent living creatures that live at depths of about 400 meters and reach a length of 20 cm. The adults are fixed on stones and corals, creating a chitinous tube for protection and release tiny tentacles to trap nutrients from the water. Their larvae were first found in 1846, and adults discovered exactly 10 years later. Between young and older individuals were so many differences that the larvae were assigned to a completely different genus Actinotrocha.
Scientists suggest that species phoronida there are so many. They immediately realized that among the found larvae there are those who can grow in a previously unexplored view of these creatures. To find out, like it or not, the researchers compared the DNA of the larvae and the adults are already known.
So, at the disposal of researchers was 23 larvae phoronid from Panama Bay, 29 of the Caribbean sea. DNA phoronida adults were taken from a public database GenBank. Comparing the sequence of molecules, scientists have discovered that one of the larvae may indeed be new to science.
According to researcher Michael Boyle, the majority of adults phoronida lead a very secretive life, and detecting them is almost impossible. Their existence is sometimes like only the larval forms.