Head of sand-dwelling microscopic polychaete worm

Head of sand-dwelling microscopic polychaete worm

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This image is part of the feature Aliens On The Beach

Credit: DAVID SCHARF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Micro-pthalmis. Coloured Scanning Electron Micro- graph of the head of the microscopic, marine sand- dwelling worm micro-pthalmis (class Polychaeta, family Heslonidae). This animal forms part of the extraordinarily diverse "meiofauna" - a community of primitive, microscopic animals that live in marine sands and graze on algae, bacteria and pro- tozoa. The dark area in the centre is the animal's mouth, surrounded by long sensory antenna. Behind the head (out of focus here) is a segmented body, each segment flanked by a pair of appendages or parapodia. A single handful of wet sand contains about 10,000 diverse animals like this polychaete worm. Magnification: x1400 at 6x6cm size. x2120 at 4x5"

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Keywords: animal, annelid worm, annelida, beach fauna, heslonidae, invertebrate, invertebrates, meio-fauna, micro-pthalmis, nature, polychaete, wildlife, zoology

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