More Deep Sea Taphonomy



For deep sea scavengers, a dead tuna is an exquisite feast. For more on what happens to bodies which come to rest on the seafloor, see my post on bone-eating worms and this video of a whale fall.

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The fail whale comes to rest; the decomposing body of a gray whale is host to a diverse array of scavengers and other deep sea organisms. From Goffredi et al., 2004. In the deep sea, no carcass goes to waste. Platoons of crabs, fish, and other scavengers make short work of most of the bodies which…
These chicas are freaky. But if you lived on a whale vertebrae and eat through bone, perhaps you'd be a little on the kinky side too, right? Osedax, the "bone-devouring" worm is weird. Now, I know long time Deep Sea News readers will be a little used to us talking about odd critters in the ocean,…
Not just whale bones but all bones. Osedax worms are those bone-eating snot flowers, purveyor of all rotten and whale-like, masters of polyandry, and more diverse than we thought. Researchers here at MBARI placed cow bones, in constructed bone trees, on the seafloor and found Osedax fancies them…
For at least 30 million years, bone-eating worms have been making their homes in the bodies of decomposing whales on the seabottom, but the rotting cetacean carcasses are not just food sources for the polychaetes. The term "worm" immediately conjures up images of the red, squiggly things which…