His Holiness the Dalai Lama accepts a framed image of a deep-sea worm to be named Sirsoe dalailamai after him by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, in honor of the spiritual leader's 80th birthday. On hand at the July 6 event hosted by UC Irvine were Scripps geophysicist Walter Munk and climate and atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan. Scripps marine biologist Greg Rouse said the worm is one of five in the family Hesionidae that will be formally named for people in a paper to be submitted for publication next month. Rouse said that the worm, found living on methane seeps near Costa Rica at a depth of 1,800 meters (5,900 feet), was chosen in part because of the reverence the Dalai Lama's adherents have for the simple but ecologically vital role worms play in ecosystems.
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