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Osedax is a genus of deep-sea siboglinid polychaetes, commonly called boneworms, zombie worms, or bone-eating worms. Osedax is Latin for "bone-eating". The name alludes to how the worms bore into the bones of whale carcasses to reach enclosed lipids, on which they rely for sustenance.


nutrients supplied by symbiotic* bacteria breaking down oil and fats in whale bone Scientists working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in 2004 discovered two new species of unique tubeworms that feed on the bones of dead whales. The worms are in a new genus called "Osedax ...


Species Osedax antarcticus Glover, Wiklund & Dahlgren, 2013 Species Osedax braziliensis Fujiwara, Jimi, Sumida, Kawato & Kitazato, 2019 Species Osedax bryani Rouse, Goffredi, Johnson & Vrijenhoek, 2018 Species Osedax crouchi Amon, Wiklund, Dahlgren, Copley, Smith, Jamieson & Glover, 2014 Species Osedax deceptionensis Taboada, Cristobo, Avila, Wiklund & Glover, 2013 Species Osed...


We describe a new genus, Osedax , and two new species of annelids with females that consume the bones of dead whales via ramifying roots. Molecular and morphological evidence revealed that Osedax belongs to the Siboglinidae, which includes pogonophoran and vestimentiferan worms from deep-sea vents, seeps, and anoxic basins. Osedax has skewed sex ratios with numerous dwarf (paedomorphic) males ...


Although it is well recognized the capital role of “bone-eating” Osedax worms in the degradation of vertebrate skeletons in the deep sea, very little is known about their effects on bone faunal assemblages. Here we aim to shed light on the bone colonization process and determine 1) whether Osedax degradation induces different bone epi/infaunal assemblages and 2) how biodiversity is ...


In 2002, MBARI scientists first observed two very odd species of worms living on the bones of a gray whale. Their trunks and brilliant red plumes produced a flowing "shag" carpets that covered many of the bones. The genus Osedax (Latin for bone eater) was formally described in 2004.


The deep-sea Osedax bone-devouring worms could easily have been the poster child for Deep-Sea News instead of the Giant Squid. I love them because Osedax are little soft sacks resembling snotty little flowers. Perhaps that’s why one of the first named species got the Latin name of Osedax mucofloris, literally bone-devouring, mucus flower.


Zombie worms don’t crave brains: instead they seek bones. The 1 to 3 inch (2 to 7 centimeter) Osedax worms were first discovered living in the bones of a rotting gray whale on the deep sea floor, nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) deep, in 2002. Since then, more Osedax species have been discovered: there are five according to the World Register of Marine Species.


Osedax japonicus is a species of bathypelagic polychaete tube worm that lives at great depths on the seabed and is able to sustain itself on the bones of a dead whale.It was first described in 2006 from a sunken sperm whale carcase near Kyushu, Japan.


More than 100 female Osedax, or zombie worms, on the flipper-bone (phalange) of a grey whale collected from the Monterey Submarine Canyon off California. Credit: Martin Tresguerres et al ...