Christmas Tree Worm Anatomy
The christmas tree shape shown in the image is the animal s radioles which can be up to about 1 1 2 inches in diameter.
Christmas tree worm anatomy. Image found on wikipedia search under polychaete. They aren t very big averaging about 1 5 inches in length. The worms are hermaphrodites with each individual possessing both testes and ovaries.
The christmas tree worm is a colorful marine worm with beautiful spiraling plumes that resemble a fir tree. This is a worm. After about three weeks the eggs hatch and the worms mature.
Christmas tree worms come in a variety of bright colors. The adult lifespan can extend to up to 30 years nishi 1999. The tubular segments of the christmas tree worm species are lined with tiny appendages chaeta that help with movement.
Christmas tree worms build calcareous tubes up to 20cm long which become embedded into the coral skeleton by extending their tube towards the living tissue smith 1984. The christmas tree worm utilizes a hemal and coelomic internal transport system. Each spiral is composed of feather like tentacles which are heavily ciliated.
These christmas tree structures are actually specialized mouth appendages. As it extends outwards through the tube the multicolored spirals create feeding structures and function as their respiratory system or gills. Fertilized eggs develop inside the body and are shed as egg capsules.
These animals can be a variety of colors including red orange yellow blue and white. The circular muscles are located outside of the longitudinal muscles to allow for peristalitic movement. These cone shaped worms are one of the most widely recognized sedentary polychaete worms.
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