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ANDRILL Anemone: Discovery on Ice

Top 10 New Species of 2014

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    Closeup of anemones in ice
    Image captures by SCINI

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    Closeup of anemones in ice
    Image captures by SCINI

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    External anatomy of specimen visible
    Courtesy of Marymegan Daly

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ANDRILL Anemone: Discovery on Ice

Top 10 New Species of 2014

About the ANDRILL Anemone

Name: Edwardsiella andrillae

Kingdom: Animalia

Family: Edwardsiidae

How it made the Top 10: A species of sea anemone, living under a glacier on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, raises questions by its very existence. It is not clear how the species withstands the harsh conditions in its habitat. It is the first species of sea anemone reported to live in ice. It was discovered when the Antarctic Geological Drilling Program (ANDRILL) sent a remotely operated submersible vehicle into holes that had been drilled into the ice. This revealed the presence of small creatures, less than 2.5 centimeters long (one inch) with most of their pale yellow bodies burrowed into the ice shelf and their roughly two dozen tentacles dangling into the frigid water below.

Etymology: This species is named after the ANDRILL program that resulted in the collection of the specimens.

Type material: Holotype and paratypes at American Museum of Natural History, New York

Type locality: Samples collected from two sites on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Reference: Daly M, Rack F, Zook R. 2013. Edwardsiella andrillae, a new species of sea anemone from Antarctic ice. PLoS ONE 8: e83476.

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