Marrus orthocanna Facts
- The visibly astonishing creature named the Marrus orthocanna constitutes a recently discovered species of a pelagic siphonophore.
- Amazingly, while it is a rather fascinating colonial creature, it actually arises from a single fertilized egg.
- The protozoan that develops from this also later buds to form the other members of the colony which are thus genetically identical.
- Creatures like this remarkable one remain rare, to our knowledge. Each blurs the boundaries between individual and colonial organisms.
Marrus orthocanna Physical Description
The unbelievable Marrus orthocanna represents a colonial creature formed from an intricate combination of zooids, some of which are medusae while others are polyps.
An elongated stem links together all individuals. In the front is a pneumatophore which contains an orange colored gas, useful for buoyancy.
At the rear of the Marrus orthocanna appears the nectosome. In fact, these rather bell-shaped medusae provide locomotion by contracting and expelling water.
The rest of the sections are collectively the siphosome. Those polyps and medusae, also specializing in collecting food, digestion, and reproduction are all within this section.
Individuals can attain lengths of as much as 10 ft (3 m).
Species: M. orthocanna
Marrus orthocanna Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Marrus orthocanna inhabits the mesopelagic zone of portions of several of the world’s oceans.
These include the Bering Sea, the North Atlantic Ocean, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Mediterranean Sea, and also portions of the Pacific Ocean.
Also, the animal typically resides at depths ranging from 660-2,620 ft (200-800 m). Due to the scarcity of light there, very few unretouched photos exist of the Marrus orthocanna.
The species also evolved to be carnivorous in nature and primarily feeds on small crustaceans, such as krill and decapods.
At present, the IUCN does not yet have a listing for this remarkable form of life.