Loricifera

The Loricifera is a sediment-dwelling marine invertebrate, inhabiting the spaces between marine gravel, the sand and mud particles in the ocean.

Key Points

  • With only 40 species having described, the invertebrate with sizes ranging from 100 μm to 1 mm, was first described in the year 1983.
  • The Loticifera has a head covered in more than 200 spines and a protective shell surrounding the abdomen. This shell is known as a lorica.
  • They are found in at all depths, all latitudes and in various sediments.
  • They have complex life cycles and some of them reportedly live in anoxic environment.
  • It was discovered by Reinhardt Kristensen who is a Biologist from Denmark. He is also accredited with the discovery of two other phyla of microscopic animals namely Cycliophora in the year 1995, and the Micrognathozoa in 2000.

Anoxic Environment

It is an environment with no Oxygen. This absence of Oxygen is also termed as ‘Anoxia”. An example of anoxic environment is a hypereutrophic water body.

New Species of Loricifera

A team of researchers has reported on a new genus and species of Loricifera, in the deep sea surrounding Japan. The team of researchers was from the Mie University, Tohoku University, Hiroshima University, the University of Copenhagen and Kyushu University. This report was published by Magazine named Marine Biodiversity. This also marks the second time a new Loricifera species has been found near Japan while the first species was discovered in 1988 in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench.

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