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Fanworm Friday

12 August 2011 | Posted in Marine

Author Ronnie Reed

fanworm / Paul Naylor

These small worms tuck themselves away inside a tube made out of mucus and tiny particles of sediment. They have brightly coloured crowns of feathery tentacles covered with tiny beating hairs which filter food out of the water, are used for breathing and sort the particles of sand for their protective tubes. Some of their tentacles are covered in eyespots which detect movement or shadows to which they react by rapidly retracting their fans, shutting their door or operculum behind them! Although some fanworms are only a few millimetres in size they can form large reefs firm enough to walk over.


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