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CADiver

What's this ?

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What are these things ? It looks like spider man, those long long tentacles retract like a fishing line.

They are pretty common, shot them at Monterey Breakwater yesterday.

Thanks!

1313705309_cf08cc02c2.jpg

Edited by CADiver

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I think it's a terrebelid (spelling?) worm - also known as a spaghetti worm.

 

The spider web looking things are the arms/tentacles that it sweeps around to feed with off the surrounding sediment.

 

I bet Leslie can say a lot more about it. I'm just a hack :-)

 

Cheers

James

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You got the important things right James. :blush: Terebellid (1 R ,2 Ls) polychaete worm in a sand grain tube with pebbles, all held together by solidified mucus, extended feeding tentacles which pick up bits of detritus for food & sand for the tube. Without having the worm under a scope there's not much more I can say either.

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You got the important things right James. :blush: Terebellid (1 R ,2 Ls) polychaete worm in a sand grain tube with pebbles, all held together by solidified mucus, extended feeding tentacles which pick up bits of detritus for food & sand for the tube. Without having the worm under a scope there's not much more I can say either.

 

 

Thank you !

 

I can't see undneath that thing where all the fishing line (tentacles) retracts. I think it might be more interesting to see the line comes out instead of retracts.

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The "thing" is the top of the worm's tube. The pebbles enlarge the tube's profile so it's out of the eating size range of many would-be predators & help armor it against the bigger worm eaters. Of course it's no defense against small predators like ribbon worms which will just crawl inside.

 

The tips of the tentacles move out like snakes dragging the rest of the structures behind them. http://www.nhm.org/guana/bvi-invt/bvi-surv...rm-09/h0797.htm

This photo is the anterior end of a terebellid taken out of its tube. You can see the feeding tentacles at top then the bright red feathery branchiae (gills). The worms move incredibly fast inside their tubes which are often 2-3 feet long. A slow researcher hasn't got a chance of getting one unless he's willing to dig up the entire tube.

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