Wednesday, 9 August 2017

March of the Firesocks


Firesocks! Sea Pickles! More to the point, Pyrosomes!

And a LOT of them.


Video: EVNautilus

From fang-tastic teeth to a frankly inappropriate ability to swim, there are many ways of doing the deep sea right. Here's the Pyrosome's offering. The name means "fire body" because they glow in the dark; they look like individual pickles but are actually colonies composed of thousands of tiny clones; last but not least, they're chordates! That means that while they might remind you of jellyfish or sea-faring corals, they're actually more closely related to humans and all the other things that have a backbone.

Phew!

Pyrosome colonies are like squidgy socks. Each clone sucks in water, filters out bacteria to feed on, and pumps the water out into the shared, central space. And, as it turns out, there's such a thing as Pyrosome blooms, where lots and lots of them turn up and drift around together. Amassing in vast numbers is a way of life for other weird chordates like the salp, as well as a whole host of deep sea worms and crustaceans.

I'm just happy to know that all those socks that mysteriously disappear from my sock drawer go to a better place.

2 comments:

Lear's Fool said...

Firesocks!!!

That is now stuck in my head forever!

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Haha! Right where it belongs!

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