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The Nereid Worm Alitta virens 
Photography by Alexander Semenov
All rights reserved

Part of a set of macro photographs taken in the lab

WikipediaAlitta virens (sandworm / king ragworm) is an annelid worm that burrows in wet sand and mud. It is classified as a polychaete in the family Nereididae.

  • Sandworms eat seaweed and microorganisms;
  • they often reach great length, sometimes exceeding four feet;
  • they have numerous, highly vascularized parapodia along both sides of their bodies;
  • they have two large pincer teeth which are capable of biting humans.

The parapodia [bottom photo] function both as external gills and as means of locomotion.

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