Coloured SEM of Sipunculid peanut worm, Phascolion

Coloured SEM of Sipunculid peanut worm, Phascolion

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This image is part of the feature Aliens On The Beach


Caption: Peanut worm. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a sipunculid or "peanut" worm Phascolion sp. This tiny marine worm (phylum: Sipuncula) lives as meiofauna in wet beach sand. At top is its mouth with cilia and sharp curved hooks; behind the mouth is a narrow neck or introvert which can elongate but is seen here retracted; at bottom is the swollen trunk. This pear-shaped body enables Phascolion to push its way between sand grains, anchor itself with hooks, then pull its body along. It feeds on sand and removes micro- organisms in the sand like bacteria. Meiofauna play an essential role in keeping beaches clean. Magnification: x260 at 5x7cm size. x445 at 4x5"

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Keywords: animal, beach fauna, invertebrate, invertebrates, marine meiofauna, meio-fauna, nature, peanut worm, phascolion, sipunculid, sipunculid worm, sipunculoidea, wildlife, worm, zoology

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