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Animal Research

Newly discovered deep-sea worms, including one named 'churro,' could shed light on animal evolution

Newly discovered deep-sea worms, including one named 'churro,' could shed light on animal evolution

Here’s one churro you won’t want to eat.

A team led by California researchers has discovered a pink, flatworm-like critter in the deep seas off the Pacific that they’ve named Xenoturbella churro, after the long, delicious fried-dough treat that you will never look at in the same way again.

The discovery of X. churro and three other related species, described this week in the journal Nature, help settle a longstanding mystery about where these strange critters belong on the tree of life.

Xenoturbella are remarkably simple animals — with no brain, no gonads, not even an anus. The first...

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