Wichita State News

The following is an excerpt from a July 22 story on msnbc.com. Mary Liz Jameson, research associate professor in biological sciences at Wichita State University, contributed to the article.

Top 10 new species of 2009 named

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A bomb-dropping worm, Swima bombiviridis, is among the top 10 species discovered in 2009, according to the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University. The annual roundup winnows down a list of about 20,000 species described each year to just a few mind-benders.

"It is a great way of getting the public involved in biodiversity," says Mary Liz Jameson, a biodiversity scientist at Wichita State University and chair of this year's selection committee. While the criteria for selection include scientific significance, Jameson admits that "the cool factor" also plays a part.

For example, the bomb-dropping worm found off the coast of California "has these green gills it can kind of throw off, and the predator will follow the gill instead of following the [worm], so it is tripping up the predator," Jameson said. "It's really cool."

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Created on Thursday, July 22, 2010; Last modified on Thursday, July 22, 2010