15 November 2018

Introducing the pyrosome

I've never heard of such a creature before.  This one filmed off the coast of New Zealand.  Via.
Pyrosomes, genus Pyrosoma, are free-floating colonial tunicates that live usually in the upper layers of the open ocean in warm seas, although some may be found at greater depths. Pyrosomes are cylindrical or cone-shaped colonies made up of hundreds to thousands of individuals, known as zooids. Colonies range in size from less than one centimeter to several metres in length. They are commonly called "sea pickles."

Pyrosomes are brightly bioluminescent, flashing a pale blue-green light that can be seen for many tens of metres. The name Pyrosoma comes from the Greek (pyro = "fire", soma = "body"). Pyrosomes are closely related to salps, and are sometimes called "fire salps". Sailors on the ocean occasionally observe calm seas containing many pyrosomes, all luminescing on a dark night.
You learn something every day.

1 comment:

  1. I guess they're akin, although probably not related, to that slime mould that forms into a 'body' to elevate itself/themselves to the top of the humus to flower and disperse its seed, then return to individual organisms.
    Are we really the rulers of the planet !


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