Saturday, January 19, 2013

Spaghetti Worm

Eupolymnia crassicornis
The Spaghetti Worm is an annelid that lives underwater in the tropical oceans near Bermuda and Puerto Rico. They live on the sea floor, burying themselves in the rocks and sand and growing long tentacles outward. These tentacles can measure up to 1m in length and give the species it's common name.

Spaghetti Worms feed by using their tentacles to grab floating detritus. Once snatched, the food moves down the tentacle towards the mouth at the base. They feed almost exclusively during nighttime hours.

When it comes time to reproduce the Spaghetti worms release sperm and eggs externally. Interestingly, the worms will release their gametes even when members of the opposite sex are nowhere around. The reason for this behavior is unknown.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Tropical Atlantic
Size : Length up to 1m
Classification : Phylum : Annelida -- Class : Polychaeta -- Order : Terebellida
Family : Terebellidae -- Genus : Eupolymnia -- Species : E. crassicornis

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