Osedax worms, also known as bone eating worms, were first discovered over 9,000 feet deep in the Monterey Bay in California. Since then, about 15 species of the worms have been discovered in the area, and they have all been found at similar depths. The Osedax worms can be found eating through the bones of whale carcasses to get to the whale lipids, which they depend on for food to survive.
Osedax worms can live and survive at a variety of depths under the surface of the water. A few years ago, MBARI scientists did a test where they dropped whale carcasses at a variety of depths ranging from 400-1,800 meters. They were testing to see whether they would find the worms at each of the carcasses. As of now, they have discovered more than 10 different species of the Osedax worms at the sites with the different carcasses. This helped them to conclude that the different species evolved based on the different depths that the whales were found.
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