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Science UFPR: The behind-the-scenes love story behind the discovery of the marine annelid

Science UFPR: The behind-the-scenes love story behind the discovery of the marine annelid

A researcher from the Coastal and Oceanic Systems Group at UFPR pays tribute to Professor Paolo Lana, who passed away in 2022, with the name of a new marine worm

On the coasts of Sao Paulo and Parana, there is a type of sea worm. Nainiris Lanai It has physical characteristics that allow it to live in an aquatic environment almost devoid of oxygen, amidst the thick mangrove mud. The gills, like those of fish, that this species uses for breathing are larger than those of other similar animals. Large cilia along the thin body push the little water available towards the gills, ensuring a minimal oxygen supply.

This entire system ensures that the approximately 25 cm long earthworm can survive in an environment that is difficult for most living things.

These modifications of the species are admired. Professor Paolo LanaFrom the Center for Marine Studies (CEM) at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR). Lana has studied marine algae for decades, and supervised researcher Ricardo Alvarez during his doctoral studies in Postgraduate Studies in Coastal and Oceanic Systems (PGSisCo) at UFPR. It was Alvarez who collected the worms, kneeling in the mud of the mangroves at Ilha das Bicas (PR) and Praia do Araça (SP), in 2021.

“Functional form was one of Paolo’s concerns,” says Alvarez. Popular Democratic Forces Union SciencesHe had observed these adaptations in other species of sea worms that he had described. Paolo always encouraged me to look at sea worms beyond their appearance, and to think about their function in the environment.

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Read the full article, with infographics and photo gallery, On the Science UFPR website

Featured Image: Ricardo Alvarez/PGSisCo/UFPR/Acervo

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This content includes researchers from: Parana Alliance for the Oceans Decadethe Ocean Research Network coordinated by the Laboratory of Ecology and Conservation (LEC) at UFPR