SEM of microscopic sand-dwelling worm laying egg

SEM of microscopic sand-dwelling worm laying egg

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This image is part of the feature Aliens On The Beach

Credit: DAVID SCHARF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Acanthodasys. Coloured Scanning Electron Micro- graph (SEM) of the microscopic, sand-dwelling worm Acanthodasys (class Gastrotricha) laying an egg (centre). The genus Acanthodasys forms part of the extraordinarily diverse "meiofauna" - a community of primitive, microscopic animals that live in marine sands and graze on dead algae, bacteria and protozoa. Gastrotrichs possess adhesive glands that enable them to glue themselves tightly to grains of sand. This animal's tough outer wall is adapted to withstand bashing by moving sand grains in a turbulent environment. Magnification: x340 at 5x7cm size. x555 at 4x5".

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Keywords: acanthodasys, animal, beach fauna, egg, gastrotrich, gastrotricha, invertebrate, invertebrates, meio-fauna, nature, wildlife, zoology

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