Karen Ira, Polly Keats, Ira Plato discussed on Fresh Air

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There's an entire succession that happens on a whale as it breaks down in the ocean over a couple of years and provides this really huge source of nutrients for things that live in the deep ocean. So as we've been learning more things about worms and other animals out there in the ocean. We better understand how carbon flows in the ocean and how important that diversity of animals is that are out there. We also can learn lots of cool things like How they move. So one project that I'm working on is looking at actually gossamer worms and they swim really fast and they're really maneuverable. But what we know about how Animals that have long bodies with lots of segments. What we know about how they swim. The gospel worms should not be very fast. They shouldn't be maneuverable, and they shouldn't be able swim for long periods of time. But we watch these things with the Submersibles and the R movies and we see them out Rennes and outmaneuver us And that's really embarrassing. Right when you've got like a $2 million machine, and this little worm just out, right and you and you can't catch it. Um, it's me. It makes it makes you wonder, right, how they do it, and so we've started collecting them and videoing them with high speed cameras. And looking at the mechanics of how they actually move and how they're able to be so maneuverable and moved themselves through the water, and there's lots of really interesting things that we can then use for things like building a robot to say swim up. One of your veins to look at. You know something that's obstructing their once you pick those animals up and you bring him back into the lab and you look at them under the microscope and you see what fantastic structures they have. To solve their challenges in life. It's really cool, like the bristles on bristle worms they come in. I don't know thousands of different shapes. There's 10,000 different types of Pollack eats That have been described so far, and probably about that many that haven't been described yet. And there's at least I don't know. A guesstimate would be something fake 500 to 1000 different kinds of bristles on those different words, and they're all to do different things. Some of them are to be able to crawl around in their tubes. Some of them had to be able to cut holes in their tubes so they could make branches on them. Some of them they're to be able to catch things. Some of them moved to be able to Dig into the type of mud that they're crawling around on. Amazing really All these cool mechanical things going on with these animals. I'm Ira Plato and this is science Friday. If you're just joining us, we're debating marine Bristle Worms or Polly Keats with Dr Karen Osborn and this week's charismatic creature correspondent producer Kristie Taylor. Karen IRA, Let me see if I can summarize the case. For charisma with these pollack eats. We have things like 10,000 species. They can shoot yellow bioluminescence. Some of them have human like eyes. I have cool biker bios IRA you love these. They'll do things like help keep their friends clean and they could live anywhere. They're vital to marine ecologies. They live in the bones of whales. I mean, Karen, is there anything else we could possibly be missing from this list of amazing traits? Well, I don't know how much time do you guys had? You've already convinced Matthew just admit it going into this, you know, knowing the bristle worms. I wasn't too crazy about it. But Christy. You rattled off all those great things, especially the light shooting out from from the arms and the Microbiome loves the laser show. Yeah, these. These are like the super heroes of the ocean to me. You know, they can do all these kinds of things and the environment that they live that that how far down in the in the ocean that they live. Some of these It's deep as we've ever gone. So down on the bottom of the Marianas Trench Weaken. We confined them to these are the superheroes. I think of the ocean, so okay, You've done it again. You have Turned around I they must be included. Maybe a special spot in the hall of Fame here. Oh, wow. Okay, So, Karen, does this bring you joy? It does bring me joy. I mean, it's a little bit of a cheat right? Because there's 10,000 species, right? There's a lot of room there to describe a lot of cool different things. And we could keep talking about them for a long time. But there are really my name all 10,000 go ahead. I've got time. Can I just make up a bunch of weird sounding words? All right. Well, thank you so much. Karen. Dr. Karen Osborn is curator of marine invertebrates of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D C and a Pollock Eat champion. Thank you so much for joining us. Karen's Absolutely. It was really fun. And Karen, let me add to that. Thank you so much for helping me see the charisma of Polly Keats. And thank you. Christy Christy Taylor's Science Friday producer and this week's charismatic creature correspondent. Thank you, Ira. If you'd like to see some of these Polly Keats we've been talking about, by the way. You can go to our website Science Friday dot com slash worms Just in case you need a bit more proof that they are truly beautiful. We're going to take a break. And when we come back dogs and humans have a long history of friendship. You know that. But how did that friendship first begin? The evolution and domestication of your friendly doggies coming up after the break, Stay with us. Um, I read Plato. This is science Friday from.

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