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Sea Squirts: Ascidiacea - No Common Name (didemnum Studeri): Species Accounts

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Physical characteristics: Didemnum studeri sea squirts form flat colonies on rocks. The colonies are 3 feet (1 meter) or more in diameter and are less than 0.2 inches (5 millimeters) thick. The colony is white and covered with tiny pieces of a material that looks like bone.


Geographic range: Didemnum studeri (abbreviated to D. studeri) sea squirts live in the waters just north of the Antarctic regions. They are especially common in the Strait of Magellan.


Habitat: D. studeri sea squirts live in shallow water on rocks and on roots or stems of algae.


Diet: D. studeri sea squirts eat nutrient particles they strain from the water flowing through them.


Behavior and reproduction: D. studeri sea squirts attach themselves to the surface on which they live. The larvae develop inside the colony.

Didemnum studeri sea squirts live in the waters just north of the Antarctic regions. They are especially common in the Strait of Magellan. (Illustration by Emily Damstra. Reproduced by permission.)

Didemnum studeri and people: D. studeri sea squirts have no known importance to people.


Conservation status: D. studeri sea squirts are not considered threatened or endangered. ∎


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Byatt, Andrew, Alastair Fothergill, and Martha Holmes. The Blue Planet. New York: DK, 2001.

Carson, Rachel. The Edge of the Sea. 1955. Reprint, Boston: Mariner, 1998.

Niesen, Thomas M. The Marine Biology Coloring Book. 2nd ed. New York: HarperResource, 2000.


Web sites:

Parmentier, Jan, and Wim van Egmond. "Sea Squirts: Our Distant Cousins." Microscopy UK. http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artaug98/tuni2.html (accessed on March 3, 2005).

Philipkoski, Kristen. "Sea Squirt Savants Celebrate." Wired. http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,51840,00.html (accessed on March 3, 2005).

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