Symbiosis between animals and bacteria half a billion years ago

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At ScienceDaily (June 28, 2011), we learn: “Ancient Symbiosis Between Animals and Bacteria Discovered”

Marine shallow water sandy bottoms on the surface appear desert-like and empty, but in the interstitial space between the sand grains a diverse fauna flourishes. In addition to bacteria and protozoa numerous animal phyla have been found here, some only here. One of the strangest members of this interstitial fauna is Paracatenula, a several millimeters long, mouth and gut-less flatworm, which is found from tropical oceans to the Mediterranean. These worms are the focus of a research project led by Jörg Ott at the Department of Marine Biology of the University of Vienna with funding from the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF).

Strange because

In the early 1970s, at the time of the discovery of Paracatenula, it was already a mystery how the worms acquire their food without a mouth and gut. The solution to this question came unexpectedly: At deep ocean hot vents, giant mouth-less tubeworms were found. These — like Paracatenula — live in symbiosis with intracellular bacteria that oxidize reduced sulfur compounds. The energy obtained in this chemical process is used by the symbionts to fix inorganic carbon into biomass — just like plants do using sunlight. Due to the high productivity of the symbionts, their hosts can derive all their nutrition from them


Based on genetic sequences of the symbionts the scientists have roughly extrapolated the age of the symbiosis — the estimated age of 500 million years makes this symbiosis the oldest known animal bacteria association.

Now the researchers want to figure out how they manage to pass it on.

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15 Replies to “Symbiosis between animals and bacteria half a billion years ago

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    How ever they pass it on I bet it gets taxed.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    Intracellular bacteria?

    So is the production of this biomass just a happy coincidence, or does it provide some selective advantage to the bacteria?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Hey Mung; your on top of the cyberstalker’s blog,,,, the guy who apparently has been harassing kairosfocus and his family;

    The IDiots of Intelligent Design

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    lol. Nice to be loved. God bless them.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    p.s. If they are monitoring here. I’m not visiting their page. I could care less.


  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Hey mung, The way I look at it, you must be doing something right to make it to the top of his hit list!!! 🙂 Keep up the good work!!!

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    So does he want to know who I am in real life?

    I’ll post that here and take away his thunder, lol. It’s not like I’m going to lose my tenure.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    I think I’ll pop over to his little den of solitude and leave him a little song:

    Kari Jobe – revelation song (with lyrics)

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    O/T: hey ba77, I just started reading Shapiro’s new book. I bet you’d enjoy it.

  10. 10
    Mung says:

    O/T: Dear anonymous person(s) over at that other site. I didn’t find God, God found me. I’m an adopted child. Use caution. Just sayin’

    Maybe God will find you too 🙂

    But I’ll be dropping clues about my identity. Pay attention.

    I was thrilled that the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA title.

    I could be a Mavs fan, I could be a Cavs fan, I could just hate the Heat. I’m from up north, doncha know.

  11. 11
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Onlookers, others, (OT)

    I don’t think it would be wise for anyone to post anything on this guy’s blog. Seeing as there may well be legal proceedings, we need to keep it plain and clear that we weren’t egging him on. Keep a low profile; please. This is serious stuff. Ignore him. That’s what you’re supposed to do with people of his obvious behavior. The more you play into it, the more the drama unfolds. Don’t give him ammunition. He has enough to look at here already. Most regular posters here have been mentioned there in derogatory terms. It’s no surprise. I have a strong suspicion based on experience that he’s either a borderline (personality disorder) or antisocial. And if he’s none of those, he’s worse: a psychopath. Look it up and learn.

    Just one observation: He’s quite proud of his blog’s statistics and posted the number of views he’s had since he started – nothing to be proud of when you consider: Out of over a thousand visits to his blog since he started until June 12, when he posted the statistics, he has only 3 followers. The majority of visits are from the US; which if he failed to click on “don’t monitor my own visits.” or something to that nature, most are probably his own visits to check out what he’s posted (Unless of course he doesn’t live in the US). That should tell you something. It looks as though most of the atheists who have had to put up with his antics are ignoring him to. I imagine for them he’s just an embarrassment. We need to do the same. Pay a visit if you must, but please don’t engage.

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    Hi CY,

    I trust your judgment. I have not and will not visit it’s page. So really, I have no idea what it’s goal is.

    Should I stop giving clues about my identity? My thinking is that maybe one obsession will prevent other more dangerous obsessions.

    Maybe it will send me to be with my Maker. Oops! I’m, already with my Maker!

    Neither I, not any other child of God has anything to fear.

    That said, let us not endanger others.

  13. 13
    CannuckianYankee says:


    In all my 11 years working with sociopaths I was never hurt by one. Many tried, but we had them contained in a locked setting. This guy is not contained. So as you very well see, we need to be careful. Sociopaths can be clever in a very maleficent manner.

    Enough said.

  14. 14
    Mung says:

    Heh, are you saying sociopaths have a propensity to end up locked up such that they cannot hurt anyone but themselves?

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    CY, perhaps this relates:

    “You Love Me Anyway” from Sidewalk Prophets – video testimony

    Sidewalk Prophets – You Love Me Anyway – music video

    Lyrics of note;

    I am the thorn in Your crown
    But You love me anyway
    I am the sweat from Your brow
    But You love me anyway
    I am the nail in Your wrist
    But You love me anyway
    I am Judas’ kiss
    But You love me anyway
    See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
    For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking
    Yes then, I turned away with a smile on my face
    With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
    And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
    So ashamed of my life, my life, my life
    But You love me anyway
    Oh, God… how you love me
    You love me anyway

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