Your chance to name an ocean critter

Ever fancied choosing a name for a new species?

Well, now’s your chance. To celebrate the upcoming World Oceans Day, researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography want some help naming an awesome deep sea worm found 1km beneath the waves on a whale fall (the body of a dead whale that’s drifted down to the seabed).

It’s a type of hesionid worm, a family named after Hesione – a Trojan princess from the Greek myths who was saved from a seamonster by Hercules (who needs rescuing from seamonsters?).

DNA tests show this little worm belongs to the genus Vrijenhoekia (bit of a mouthful, but named after awesome deep sea biologist Bob Vrijenhoek). And now it’s up to you to pick its second name, the species name.

So get your Latin dictionaries out – it should either be a Latin word that somehow depicts the critter or a word that’s sounds Latin (give it a Latin ending).

Three finalists will be chosen, then it goes to public vote.

Find out more and send in your ideas for worm names by May 25th at the Birch Aquarium website.

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