New deep sea mushroom-shaped organisms discovered

Sep 03, 2014
Photo of the new deep sea mushroom-shaped organism. Credit: Just et al.

Scientists discovered two new species of sea-dwelling, mushroom-shaped organisms, according to a study published September 3, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jean Just from University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues.

Scientists classify based on shared characteristics using a taxonomic rank, including kingdom, phylum, and . In 1986, the authors of this study collected organisms at 400 and 1000 meters deep on the south-east Australian continental slope and only just recently isolated two types of mushroom-shaped organisms that they couldn't classify into an existing phylum.

The new organisms are multicellular and mostly non-symmetrical, with a dense layer of gelatinous material between the outer skin cell and inner stomach cell layers. The organisms were classified as two in a , Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides, in the new family, Dendrogrammatidae. Scientists found similarities between the organisms and members of Ctenophora and Cnidaria and suggest that they may be related to one of these phyla. Scientists also found similarities to 600 million year-old Pre-Cambrian extinct life forms, suggested by some to be early but failed attempts at multi-cellular life.

The authors originally preserved the specimens in neutral formaldehyde and stored them in 80% ethanol, which makes them unsuitable for molecular analysis. However, they suggest attempting to secure new samples for further study, which may provide further insight into their relationship to other organisms.

Jørgen Olesen added: "New mushroom-shaped animals from the deep sea discovered which could not be placed in any recognized group of animals. Two species are recognized and current evidence suggest that they represent an early branch on the tree of life, with similarities to the 600 mill old extinct Ediacara fauna."

Explore further: Oldest biodiversity found in Gabonese marine ecosystem

More information: Just J, Kristensen RM, Olesen J (2014) Dendrogramma, New Genus, with Two New Non-Bilaterian Species from the Marine Bathyal of Southeastern Australia (Animalia, Metazoa incertae sedis) – with Similarities to Some Medusoids from the Precambrian Ediacara. PLoS ONE 9(9): e102976. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102976

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User comments : 6

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1 / 5 (5) Sep 03, 2014
Greg Bear should not be the only other person on this planet who knows how new species arise. Science fiction authors should not know more than science journalists.

Nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions appear to differentiate all cell types of all individuals of all genera. In living organisms, nutrients are metabolized to species-specific pheromones, which control the physiology of reproduction.

If this new sea animal continues to defy classification, theorists may realize they have never described any evolutionary event that links one species to another in the tree of life.

Next, the theorists may realize that life is nutrient-dependent and that biodiversity is pheromone-controlled. They could then read "Darwin's Radio" and "Darwin's Children" to learn how their stories have remained inconsistent with what was portrayed by Greg Bear as science fiction and also inconsistent with what has been known about molecular epigenetics for more than 50 years.
5 / 5 (3) Sep 03, 2014

Ding! Ding! We have a winner !

The most unscientific post of the day.

That's hard to do, considering the other trolls on this site.

5 / 5 (4) Sep 04, 2014
Nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions

Which occur through what mechanism? What processes lead to changes in GENES (not transcripts)?
not rated yet Sep 04, 2014
please don't feed the trolls.
5 / 5 (5) Sep 04, 2014
lol JVK and his persecution complex - have you considered that the reason nobody takes your ideas seriously is because they're just stupid? Because that's the real reason your ideas are laughed at, they're incredibly stupid.
5 / 5 (4) Sep 04, 2014
@supamark: Besides stupid, evolution is 100 years older than his "50 years" of non-hereditary epigenetics that by definition can't generate new species, The Pheromone Troll tries to literary sell his snake oil, he has a site for that. (Or had when I first checked what idiocy he use to link to.) Eat pheromones and you will be Virile et cetera.

It's spam rather than trolling, so extra extra stupid. I'm glad no one falls for his buffoonery.

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