Marine worms that dwell in the numbing cold of the deep ocean don’t care if winter is coming. Be that as it may, several newly described species of these worms now owe their names to “Game of Thrones,” inspired by the remorseless Arya Stark (Abyssarya acus) and everyone’s favorite man of few words, Hodor (Hodor hodor and Hodor anduril).
The deep-sea worms are part of a family called Polynoidae, which includes about 900 species. These newfound creatures were collected during an expedition to the equatorial Pacific Ocean, at depths of between 13,000 and 16,000 feet (4,000 and 5,000 meters), scientists reported in a new study.
Deep-dwelling worms such as these are not as well-studied as their cousins who live in shallower habitats. But with the newfound samples, scientists substantially expanded the group’s family tree, describing 17 newfound species and four newfound genuses, according to study co-author Paulo Bonifácio, a researcher with the Department of Deep-Sea Ecosystems at the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea.