Lophenteropneust

Unknown Invertebrate of the South Pacific Ocean.

Etymology: Greek, "ridged" enteropneust.

Scientific name: Lophenteropneusta, given by Henning Lemche.

Physical description: Length, 2-4 inches. Cylindrical, translucent body. A ring of tentacles surrounds the mouth. Terminal anus.

Tracks: Spirals and loops of fecal strings.

Habitat: Abyssal marine depths.

Distribution: Pacific Ocean.

Significant sightings: In 1962, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography's Proa Expedition in the research vessel Spencer F. Baird took some 4,000 photos of the sea bottom in five trenches in the western Pacific to a depth of 35,800 feet. Several photographs showed fecal coils made by a hemichordate of uncertain taxonomy. Similar animals were later photographed by the Disturbance and Recolonization Experiment in a Manganese Nodule Area of the Deep South Pacific (DISCOL) project in the Peru Trench.

Possible explanation: The cylindrical shape is like an Acorn worm (Class Enteropneusta), while the ring of tentacles is characteristic of the vase-shaped Class Pterobranchia.

Sources: Henning Lemche, et al., "Hadal Life as Analyzed from Photographs," Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening 139 (1976): 263-336; O. S. Tendal, "What Became of Lemche's Lophenteropneust?" Deep-Sea Newsletter 27 (1998): 21-24; O. S. Tendal, "Lemche's Lophenteropneust Widely Known but Still an Enigma," Deep-Sea Newsletter 28 (1999): 8; DISCOL Megafauna Atlas, http:// www.drbluhm.de/da_fig052.html.

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