The Appearance on a Beach in Vigo of a Strange Creature of the Marine Abyss Surprises Scientists

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The sedentary Phronima is a very curious crustacean that uses another organism to house and care for its eggs.

The appearance in the Ríade Vigo, specifically in the beach of Samil, of a sedentary female Phronima made her happy the day, and maybe the month, to the vigués Álvaro Roura. The researcher enjoys as a child with a surprised face the arrival of this rare marine crustacean to an environment where it is very difficult to be seen.

The “bug”, as he calls it, was found by chance by Mía, the dog of Julio Alonso, fisherman and senior patron of the San Francisco brotherhood. The sailor had as much smell as his dog and it seemed that the slimy mass that his pet could not stop barking could match, so he took it to Iñaki Ferreiro, from the Cíes Islands diving center , who in turn put it in knowledge of experts in marine environment. Manuel E. Garci, biologist in charge of the Marine Sampling and Image Unit of the Marine Research Institute, was in charge of the unusual recording and Roura, a biologist working at the same institution, was fortunate to attend that exceptional moment that defines, in terms of the scientific importance of the finding as “a very beautiful anecdote,a gift that makes you the sea because they are bugs that do not live in the estuary or in the coastal area on a regular basis, only if there are oceanographic conditions of southern winds that move ocean water and you are lucky to be brought »

The specialist clarifies that the species “is not new or exotic nor its presence is the result of global warming .” What is certain is that “it is very curious because the female has a way of life and a way of caring for her offspring that is uniqueamong the group of animals to which it belongs, which are the amphipods. Use another agency to house and care for their eggs. That’s the cool part of all this, “he says.

The Appearance on a Beach in Vigo of a Strange Creature of the Marine Abyss Surprises Scientists

Roura recalls that when the divers contacted Garci and called him to tell him, “I hallucinated because it is the typical bug you see in textbooks and documentaries but you can not imagine that it will appear next to your house, because its environment It is the depth of the ocean. The biologist already knew the sedentary Phronima while doing his thesis on octopuses in the open sea. “We were doing more than 500 meters deep in front of the Galician coast and the coast of Morocco looking for octopus larvae and we saw them, but not like the one that arrived here inside their house, in that transparent barrel taking care of the young that started hatch in front of us. It was very nice”, summarizes the scientist who adds that the resemblance to the Alien creature that is attributed to the marine animal is not morphological. It does not look like the monster in the film. “What is similar is the way of life in terms of the upbringing of a creature within a living organism of others,” he clarifies.   

The mother and the millimetric larvae of the strange crustaceans have returned to their environment. They released them to the Atlantic and the scientist expects them to find their way. “The follow-up is unfeasible, but I would love it,” he acknowledges.


Source: La Voz de Galicia