The world underneath us – underwater – is still something that we do not know a whole lot about. Despite constant research into the waters below, there are parts of the ocean we simply cannot travel down to. Not only does this make exploration difficult, but the sheer vastness of the water on Earth makes it very difficult for any kind of meaningful expansion into the reals mof the water.
Therefore, lots of new species are constantly being discovered underwater as we make our way through the world itself. One form of sealife that we do not know a whole about is the deep-sea limpet. These tiny little creatures, roughly the size of a cockroach, tend to live in long and narrow sea beds and have shells which are about 1cm in length.
Dr. Masako Nakamura, a renowned member of the OIST Marine Biophysics Unit, has played a key role in expanding our knowledge and understanding of deep-sea limpets. Providing a deeper insight into the ecology of these limpets is very important as it can help us understand yet another species we know very little about.
It appears that the longer the length of the shell of each limpet, the longer it has been part of the colony it was found within. While they have a clear gender separation much like humans, they have a very unique reproduction process. Unlike many coral life forms, they produce the limpets one-by-one as they reach maturity rather than letting out a large spawn and letting them grow in the water. In her research, Dr. Nakamura was able to find that the spread of deep-sea limpets across the water tends to come from the currants spreading them out.
While these are only the very first developments, it’s always important for us to keep increasing our knowledge of the millions of unique life forms on this planet, as well as countless different numbers of species and sub-species that help make up Earth as it is today.