Early last week I posted some commentary on the discovery and naming of a new species of Acorn worm: Yoda Purpurata. If you recall, I felt the name was awesome, but not entirely accurate as the deep-sea worm looked more like a “pink poodle or a uterus.”
A few days after the post went up I received a comment from none other than Nicholas Holland, explaining that the Yoda Worm in the picture had been “broken in half (thanks to its gummy-bear-consistency body) and then had to suffer being dragged up a couple of miles to the sea surface.” (You may also recall from my post that it was Mr. Holland and his team that discovered and named the worm). Needless to say, I was surprised and pleased to hear from professor Holland directly.
A bit embarrassed that I had unofficially renamed Holland’s discover the “Uterus of the Deep,” I set out to find a pic of the actual, non emaciated gelatinous Jedi worm… There were none. Pretty amazing considering the coverage this story received in popular media and the Blogoshpere… All of us working from the same sad picture.
Anyway, I contacted professor Holland to let him know of my predicament and he was kind enough to send me a ton of great Yoda Purpurata and acorn worm material… and I mean a ton! Holland clearly has a passion for what he’s doing and the publications to prove it.
So without further ado, enjoy some alternative views of our friend Purple Yoda (Yoda Purpurata). It still takes some imagination to see Yoda, but at least he’s healthy, in one piece, and cruising the sea floor. To read more about the discovery, I strongly encourage you to check out Invertebrate Biology: volume 131, issue 3.