- Not Exactly Rocket Science
The Marine Creatures That Only Live on Land Plants
In November 2006, Craig McClain sailed into the Pacific Ocean, threw 36 logs overboard, and created several new worlds.
When wood sinks to the bottom of the ocean, whether from shipwrecks, uprooted trees, or keen scientists, it is soon colonised by waves of life. Clam-like creatures called Xylophaga chisel through the wood with their own shells and feed off the liberated splinters. Small crustaceans and predatory worms squirm through the wood. Large squat lobsters sit on the surface, tearing strips off the bark with spoon-shaped claws.
Most of these animals have special adaptations (and microbes) that allow them to digest wood, and they’re only found on woodfalls. McClain estimates that around 90 percent of these species live nowhere else in