Sea Anemones Found Clinging to Underside of Antarctic Ice

Photo+courtesy+of+cba.ca

Photo courtesy of cba.ca

A robot surveying the underside of Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf  has discovered thousands of tiny sea anemones. The creatures are a new species that scientists have identified as Edwardsiella andrillae. The tiny, white invertebrates thrive in burrows in the ice and expand their tentacles to filter-feed from the water below according to www.livescience.com.

Frank Rack, a science leader of the Antarctic Geological Drilling Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his team’s actual mission was to survey ocean currents near the Ross Ice Shelf and to study geologic samples of the sea floor of Antarctica and to test their new remotely operated vehicle camera equipmentstated www.livescience.com.

“I had no idea that there was anything living there. From what I know about anemone biology, I would not have thought it was possible,” says Marymegan Daly, associate professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology, experimenting in sea anemones at Ohio State University.

“Sea anemones are related to jellyfish; therefore, they are abundant in almost every habitat on Earth, including the deepest and shallowest parts of the ocean,” said Daly. The Brilliantly white anemones that speckled the ice can extend to about seven centimeters long according towww.cbc.ca.

The anemones were discovered in such huge numbers, and in an unlikely place on earth; therefore, Daly is left with questions about where this new species of anemone came from and how it is able to survive under the ice.

Due to the discovery of the anemones, NASA has been inkling about the possibility of life that may exist under the ice of Jupiter’s moon, Europa according to www.cba.ca. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes,” said Marcel Proust, famous French critic.