polychaete worms

Space Dragons are real

but they live in the ocean: meet tomopteris helgolandica, a polychaete worm that lives above the abyssal plane: it is also unequivocally a Space Dragon.

check this shit out

look at this tiny majestic motherfucker

bonus: his wiggles


Terrifying Worm Snatches Fish from the Ocean Floor   

Sand strikers, also known as bobbit worms, are primitive-looking creatures that lack eyes, or even a brain. Despite this, they are savage predators who shoot out grapple-like hooks to reel in passing fish. 

via: Smithsonian Channel

grumpyfaceurn  asked:

What on earth IS that rainbow-y horror worm thing?


Pretty little polychaetes who bury their several-metre-long bodies in the ground and wait until something brushes up against one of their antennae. They then snap their venomous mandibles shut so fast they sometimes scissor their prey right in half

Anyway, don’t step on one!

Mediterranean fanworm - (Sabella spallanzanii) by denizoner Sabella spallanzanii is a species of marine polychaete worms in the family Sabellidae. Common names include the Mediterranean fanworm, the feather duster worm, the European fan worm and the pencil worm. It is native to shallow waters in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea (wikipedia).

April 16, 2017 - European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

These cormorants are found around the Atlantic coasts of much of Europe and north Africa and parts of the Black Sea coast. Their diet is made up of a variety of fish, including sandeels, along with other marine prey, such as polychaete worms, cephalopods, other mollusks, and small crustaceans. They often forage alone, but may join flocks of a few hundred birds to follow large groups of fish. Breeding in colonies, they build nests from marine vegetation and flotsam on cliffs and rocky areas. Though they are classified as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN, they face a variety of threats, including persecution from commercial fisheries, predation by American Mink at their nest sites, coastal oil pollution, entanglement and drowning in gill-nets, and possible future outbreaks of Newcastle disease.



While auditing the books, we came across these monographs of polychaete worms, including a wonderful life size illustration of Alitta virens (included under an outdated name of Nereis virens) - shown with a penny for a size comparison. These worms are known to grow to 4 foot long, so the one illustrated is actually a bit of a tiddler!

Look out for more book based treasures as we continue our audit.


This is all true! More fun polychaete facts:

1. In some species, the female epitoke eats the male epitoke, then explodes, spraying fertilized eggs everywhere.
2. Some human cultures harvest epitoke swarms and eat them raw or fried.
3. There are over 10,000 species of polychaete worms! Only some of them perform epitoky like this. Some are even weirder.

I think since Rahggi is like a trollsona and therefore an alternate version of me, then her dancestor would just be…myself? This is an accurate representation of what it’s like to hang out with me in real life, except that this conversation would continue for literal hours. Sorry, you asked me about my OC and now you learned about epitoky, sucker!

anonymous asked:

Are the animals that inhabit whale falls restricted to feeding and living on whale carcasses or will they also use the carcasses of other large animals like mola mola or large sharks?

In order to answer this question in all its complexity, I must first explain the three major stages of a whale fall community, as there are absolute boatloads of species that take advantage of them. And as with all good science, everybody and their dog is publishing papers arguing furiously on which species are where, for how long, and if they can be found anywhere else. 


The first stage of a whale fall is likely exactly what you’d expect - the mobile scavenger stage; hagfish, sharks, crustaceans, etc. Species that cruise around the hadal depths of the ocean looking for dead stuff that they can eat and/or expel horrifying amounts of deadly mucus onto (looking at you, mixinids). Whatever you’re in to, really.

There is zero contention on if these dudes have been found on other large cases of food falls - they’ve been documented on other falls such as on mobulid rays, whale sharks, Mola mola, etc. They eat the good meaty stuff, so any animal body that falls to the bottom of the ocean will quickly and easily be “colonized” by these dudes. It’s hypothesized that they can actually hear the sound of a large body hitting the sea floor up to several hundred metres away, (on top of the more normal “death smell coming from over here”) which is just about the most terrifying/amazing thing I’ve heard all day.

The second stage is the enrichment opportunist stage; Osedax and other polychaete worms, gastropods, more crustaceans - a more “sessile” stage of organisms coming to chow down on what’s left. These are the species that take advantage of the bones and all the delicious, delicious particles that melted off the skeleton and into the surrounding sand. Delightful

Now, this is the stage that is mostly up for contention - Osedax, after all, needs bone to colonize. Sharks and rays have cartilage, not bone, and fish, of course, have much flimsier skeletons than mammals. Osedax have been shown to colonize cow bones sunk for Science, so they obviously aren’t specialists on only marine mammals, but examples of ray, shark, and fish falls have shown no sign of the extensive and typical second stage whale fall communities.

The third and final stage of a whale fall is the sulphophilic stage; Osedax is even more abundant, there are loads of anaerobic bacterial mats, crustaceans, and mollusks - the whole shebang. This stage has so much anaerobic, anoxic, and sulphuric action going on that it actually closely resembles the community that surrounds hydrothermal vents, which is actually quite ridiculous.

Mobulid ray carcasses have shown signs of similar bacterial mats, but it’s not quite enough to definitively say “this is a typical whale fall community”. Again, no other signs of this stage have been found on smaller, non-mammalian carcasses.

It could just be that since the second stage takes up to two years to form fully, and the third stage is at around 10, that with non-mammalian food falls there just isn’t enough there to support the entire complex community - or that the mobile predators take care of a smaller carcass before it can be colonized by further stages. It’s a got dan mystery, like basically everything else in the ocean that isn’t a Daphnia.

So as with all of my long-ass answers here, enjoy this explanation that likely did nothing but clarify points you didn’t actually want to know, and further muddy the ones you did. You’re welcome.

BONUS: A super gorgeous video showing the whole process. Look at it. Wow


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@ other fakemon artists

I dare you to make a fakemon based on a polychaete worm. This is the official Aviculor Fakemon Challenge™, to fill Tumblr with worm pokemon.

7goodangel  asked:

Tiny Toad Brown

Tiny Toad Brown: Do you find beauty in something that people consider to be ugly or undesirable?

ABSOLUTELY. think of the most terrifying sea creature you can. Like a gulper eel. Or a frilled shark. Or a polychaete worm. All of them are gorgeous!!! Beautiful!! Everything that the ocean poops out is a glorious work of art!!!!!!! :D