Mint-sauce worms make headlines

Circular mill of photosymbiotic marine flatworms. © Nigel Franks

Shortly before COP21, we wrote about the educational kit developed at the Roscoff Biological Station in France’s Finist√®re region, which helps understand the consequences of climate change and ocean acidification on coral reefs, through the life cycle of photosymbiotic marine flatworms. Discovered in Roscoff in the 19th century, this plant-animal that feeds on an algae living inside its body has recently made headlines in international scientific media.

A British study published by the Royal Society demonstrates the collective behavioral dance of Symsagittifera roscoffensis as they sunbathe to enable photosynthesis. Since then, National Geographic, New Scientist, Vice Motherboard, Gizmodo, Live Science, Russian media and Le Monde have featured the worms. The tiny mint-sauce worms of Roscoff have become swirling big stars!

Makery article published on October 27, 2015

Makery newsletter

Biweekly, all the labs news you need to know.