An article in Wired reports on advances in scientists' genetic understanding of Osedax, a recently discovered family of "mouthless worms that live in the bones of dead whales." A study published this week in BMC Biology led by Robert Vrijenhoek from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute scanned genes from several species of the worms and indicates that there may be "at least 12 more as-yet-unidentified lineages of Osedax," which appear to have had a common ancestor 45 million years ago. "But Osedax might have emerged even earlier, during the Cretaceous, and moved to whales when marine dinosaurs died out," the article adds.
The Worm that Taught Us the Term 'Whalefall'
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