Thursday, 18 February 2016

A Newly-Discovered Organism Turns Mud Snails Into Tiny Ravers

image credit PLOS One

A just-discovered type of polyp spends its life decorating the shells of snails. Nassa mud snails spend their daylight lives in the sand, coming out only at night. It's not surprising, then, that the ones just south of the Red Sea had accessories that, until now, were unknown to science.

The polyps are a form of hydrozoa, tiny invertebrates that can join together to form jellyfish-like creatures. Not much is known about these particular hydrozoans, but they are interesting to scientists because they use green fluorescent proteins.

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