Serpula columbiana, platyhelminthes, nemertea, annelida, chaetognatha, hemichordata, polychaete, and phoronida are all kinds of marine worms. Some are harmless, some are beautiful and some can sting with powerful toxins.
Phylum platyhelminthes are the flatworms. These are among the simplest of animals, consisting of essentially a flattened tube of muscle and a simple digestive system with a single opening that serves as both mouth and anus. It has no true body cavity, nor does it have the distinct body segments that characterize more complex worms. The vast majority of species in this phylum are parasites.
The ribbon worms in phylum Nemertea are slightly more complex. While they also have a flattened shape, they have a one-way digestive system with a separate mouth and anus and a simple blood vascular system. Nemertea is carnivores that hunt in the sediments for prey.
The annelids include polychaete worms and leeches. these are the segmented worms, in other words, made up of segments that are formed by subdivisions that partially transect the body cavity. Also included are the tubeworms, known as the fan worms or feather duster worms.
Phylum chaetognatha is a relatively unknown group of worms. Chaetognatha is known as arrow worms, they are marine predators that typically locate their prey by detecting vibrations produced by copepods and other zooplankton, then use sharp hooks and teeth at the front of the body to grab their victims and immobilize them with neurotoxins.
The hemichordates are the closest relative between the chordates and other invertebrates. Thus, these marine worms described being the sister group of such animals as sea urchins.
The Phoronida, also called the horseshoe worms, are an exclusively marine group of lophophorate animals, the phoronida are one of the smallest and least familiar of the marine worms, there are about twelve or so living species.
The calcareous tubeworm is a filter feeder that feeds on tiny microscopic organisms and small particles. When feeding, the animal extends the feather dusters tentacles from its tube. Links of cilia on these tentacles force food particles towards the mouth. Read More….
This clam worm is an important source of food for bottom-feeding fish and crustaceans. Birds will feed on them after spawning and die. They can sometimes be found in large numbers, dead, on the beach. Other common names for the clam worm are ragworm, mussel worm, pile worm, and sandworm. Read More….
Northern Feather Duster Worm
Northern feather duster worms live in tough brownish to white tubes that can grow to about 25 cm in length. These tubes are made of mucous secretions mixed with sand grains. They have retractable feathery appendages at the end of the tube that is used to capture food and act as gills for gas exchange. Read More….