New species are discovered all the time -- usually in some remote region of the earth that has not been studied fully by botanists or zoologists. For that reason symbion pandora caused quite a commotion when it was discovered in 1995 - because symbion pandora was found living in the mouth of the Norway lobster in the Kattegat Straits, a major shipping lane between Norway and Denmark.

Not only was symbion pandora a new species sitting right under our noses, but it didn't fit into any of the current phylum. In the Tree of Life animals fall into about 35 different phylum. A new one is quite rare, but symbion pandora needed one of its own, so Cycliophora was suggested.

It derives its name from the symbiotic relationship it has with the lobster and for the box-like feeding structure it features during its feeding stage (Pandora's box). Cycliophora derives from Greek for 'circular mouth ring'.

Characteristics of the symbion pandora

- typically 350 µm long
- attached by an adhesive disc to the lips of the lobster
- feeds using a mouth surrounded by a ring of cilia
- excretes via an anus next to the mouth ring
- the feeding stage continually produces inner buds which replace the feeding structures
- both asexual and sexual reproduction can occur
The symbion pandora was discovered by Danish researcher Reinhardt Kristensen, a professor at the University of Copenhagen. The previous new phylum to be discovered was also found by Kristensen, the Loricifera in 1983.

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