Xenoturbella profunda worm in  the Gulf of California

Xenoturbella profunda worm in the Gulf of California
Deep-sea worms slither around the bottom of the animal tree of life

The deep sea is full of strange and little-known worms. A new paper coauthored by MBARI molecular biologist Robert Vrijenhoek describes four newly named species of flatworms in the genus Xenoturbella have that have mouths, but no eyes, brains, stomachs, or anuses. A detailed analysis of the new species’ DNA showed that they are some of the most primitive animals with bilateral symmetry (bodies with more or less symmetrical right and left sides).

MBARI welcomes two new senior managers

In late 2015, MBARI hired Michael Kelly as Director of Marine Operations and Basilio Martinez as Chief Financial Officer. These individuals will replace senior MBARI staff who are retiring.

Signs of a turbidity event in Monterey Canyon

On Friday, January 15, an event on the floor of Monterey Canyon triggered two sediment transport event detectors. A few days later, a benthic event detector, originally deployed at a depth of 200 meters in the canyon, drifted ashore in Santa Cruz.