Researchers from the University of Aberdeen discovered
a new deep sea acorn worm. They have named it Yoda purpurata
after the Jedi master in the Star Wars universe. The reddish-purple worm has large lips on either side of its head region. It lives about 1.5 miles below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.
A paper about the new worm was published
in the journal, Invertebrate Biology
. The research was part of the ECOMAR
, a program that examined animals along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Iceland and the Azores. The research was lead by Professor Monty Priede, Director of the University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab.
Professor Priede said in a statement
, "It's incredibly exciting to find new species and when we retrieved them back on board the ship everyone was amazed at the striking differences in colour which led to nicknames such as 'northern pink', 'southern purple' and 'southern white' which captured their colour as well as where on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge they were found. Our colleague in California Nick Holland, the world authority on the Enteropneusts, chose the name Yoda, for the new genus characterised by its large ear-like lips."
Photo: David Shale/University of Aberdeen