Wednesday, July 28, 2010
More cute worms!
In addition to Owenia there were lots of other larvae in our plankton tows. These are just two of my favorites, although everything looks cute when it's a baby! The top is some sort of polychaete, and the bottom is not technically a worm although it is worm-like.
It is a phoronid, and is most closely related to bryozoans and brachiopods. Their bodies are shaped like worms, although they have a great feathery lophophore which they use to filter water for food, and their anus loops out near their mouth. They also live in tubes, and they can brood their young in it. There are only 20 species of phoronids world wide.