Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Creature Feature #227: Fanworm

Fanworms are an Order of annelid worm, characterised by their fan-like appearance. Their first two body segments are fused, with feathery tendrils that allow them to filter feed. To protect their lower end, they construct a parchment-like tube from debris around them, such as sand and shell fragments, cementing them together with mucus. This they retreat into when not feeding. There are numerous species, with some - like this Mediterranean Fanworm - having only one fan, whereas other species have multiple or spiral fans. The Mediterranean Fanworm is found in shallow estuaries, living at depths of up to 30 m and growing up to 40 cm tall.

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