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collecting tubeworms from Alvin's basket

A Fistful of Tubeworms

Erik Cordes retrieves specimens of tubeworms from the submersible Alvin's sample basket during the current expedition in the Gulf of Mexico, which ends today. Cordes, an ecologist from Temple University, studies deep-sea animals, including how and where animal communities form on the seafloor and how deep-sea species live and interact with each other. These tubeworms are from the genus Lamellibrachia; the species is still undescribed. They will be genetically analyzed to see if they are related to tubeworms at other deep-sea communities and to look for any signs that the animals’ biochemical machinery has responded to exposure to oil.  (Photo by Ken Kostel)


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