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What's In a Name

In October 2007, U. S. and Filipino scientists searched the deep water of the Celebes Sea in Southeast Asia, for new species. When they discovered this extraordinary worm—which they called “Squidworm”—they knew they had something unique. Now it appears the name has stuck. In a paper that appeared last week in the journal Biology Letters, WHOI scientist Larry Madin together with colleagues Karen Osborn and Greg Rouse from Scripps Institution of Oceanography gave the animal its formal Linnean name: Teuthidodrilus samae. The genus, Teuthidodrilus, is simply “squidworm” in Greek and the species, samae, is from the Bangsa Sama indigenous people of the Sulu Archipelago where the worm was found, to recognize the valuable contribution of the Filipino colleagues. (Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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