La Jolla class wins Birch Aquarium name-the-deep-sea-worm contest

The Children's School students named the worm on the left. Photos: Birch Aquarium

Press Release

The first-graders in Room 2 from The Children’s School and a San Diego teenager are winners of the Birch Aquarium’s contest to name two new species of deep-sea worms.

The worms were discovered by researchers in the Scripps Marine Invertebrate Phylogenetics Lab, who selected three finalists for each species from among 165 suggestions.

The chosen names were revealed on Wednesday, World Oceans Day, during a special kelp tank dive show at the aquarium. The public voted online for their choices, which will become the official scientific names of the species.

The Children’s School students were selected to name the worm belonging to the genus Podarkeopsis. The students submitted the species name falenothiras, the Greek word for “whale hunter.”

The name submitted by 19-year-old Laura McIntyre, will be given to the worm belonging to the genus Vrijenhoekia. She gave it the species name ketea, the Latin word for “sea monsters.”

Names were received from 22 states as well as from Greece and Taiwan. Participants were asked to follow proper naming conventions as detailed in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, as well as provide a description of how they came up with their suggestion.

The Children’s School Room 3 first graders were among the finalists with their name, Podarkeopsis bathyzonatos. Bathyzonatos is the Greek translation of deep-living.

More than 1,100 votes were cast for the finalists. Votes were received from a dozen countries, including Indonesia, Italy, Japan and South Africa. Scripps scientists, in association with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, discovered the worms living upon whale carcasses that had fallen to the ocean floor off Monterey. These “whale falls” spawn unique communities of marine animals that can feed off the carcass for decades.

The worms, which measure only a few centimeters in length, are part of the family Hesionidae. Only 10 hesionids have been described from the deep sea, and only one has been described from a whale fall. In total, Scripps scientists discovered six new species of worms on whale falls.

SOURCE: Birch Aquarium

Related posts:

  1. Bishop’s graduates gather for 2011 commencement
  2. La Jolla Elementary students share knowledge of history
  3. Parents, students rally for education at La Jolla elementary schools
  4. Bird Rock fifth graders’ Wave is the Rave
  5. Students at San Diego French-American School learn about galette des rois

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Jun 8, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Del Mar couple to present program about Bhutan at Solana Beach Library September 1, 2014
    Join cultural anthropologist and photographer Roger Harmon and his wife, Nancy, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in the Solana Beach Library for a free presentation of their travels to Bhutan through slides and artifacts. […]
  • Carmel Valley Boy Scouts climb Mount Whitney September 1, 2014
    Several boys from Boy Scout Troop 765 (Carmel Valley) made the climb to the tallest peak in the contiguous 48 states this summer. They spent the summer hiking the tallest peaks of Southern California, preparing for their hike of Mount Whitney. These peaks included Mount Baldy, Mount San Jacinto, and Mount San Gorgonio. The boys made the 22-mile round-trip tr […]
  • Multimillion-dollar renovation complete at Hilton San Diego Del Mar September 1, 2014
    Hilton San Diego Del Mar announces the completion of its multimillion-dollar renovation. Funded by Wheelock Street Capital and Sage Hospitality, the hotel’s completed renovation includes the lobby, business center, fitness center, restaurant, meeting spaces and all 257 guest rooms. “This renovation has truly transformed the Hilton San Diego Del Mar property, […]