Velvet worms feeding

Velvet worms feeding

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Credit: DR MORLEY READ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Epiperipatus trinidadensis, (right) & Macroperipatus torquatus, (left) peripatuses or velvet worms, from Trinidad, feeding on a House Cricket. It is captured by shooting out strands of glue from openings near their mouths. This sticks the preys' appendages together. Using their spiky jaws the prey is killed & softened by the injection of a potent saliva. The soft parts are then injested leaving the cuticle. Peripatuses attack prey as large as themselves, but to miss or make an unprofitable attack wastes the glue (protein). One squirt may weigh 5% of its body mass, some expended glue is therefore re-injested.

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Keywords: animal, collared peripatus, eating, epiperipatus trinidadensis, feeding, giant peripatus, house cricket, invertebrate, invertebrates, macroperipatus torquatus, nature, onychophora, onychophoran, peripatus, velvet worm, wildlife, zoology

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