Sunday, October 01, 2017

The worms crawl in ...

Flipping a rock on the beach usually exposes a scramble of leggy crabs, heading for cover. When they've gone, if the substrate is wet, knots of worms rouse themselves and ooze or paddle away, more slowly.

Flatworms flow like melted butter, slowly, insensibly, but surely. They're the first to disappear. Note the two eyespots; they're watching me! The green ribbon is a worm, too.

Purple ribbon worms, Paranemertes peregrina, with their pale, creamy bellies, twist and turn, and gradually untangle themselves. It takes them a while to get out of sight. All of the snail shells, I think, are rented out by young hermit crabs.

The polychaetes move quickly; they hate the light. But they're long, so they take a while to entirely hide themselves.

Detail of the longest worm, showing the dot-and-hair extension on each paddle "foot". I don't remember seeing this before. I've saturated the red colour a bit, to make the hairs more visible.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I'm glad you bucked up. I always like looking at tide line things.Well, here they are often a tad dangerous, but still interesting.

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