Colour SEM of mouth of a Sipunculid peanut worm

Colour SEM of mouth of a Sipunculid peanut worm

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This image is part of the feature Aliens On The Beach

Credit: DAVID SCHARF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mouth of a peanut worm. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of the mouth of a sipunculid or "peanut" worm Phascolion sp. This tiny marine worm lives as meiofauna in wet beach sand. Here, its mouth (at centre) has cilia and is surrounded by sharp curved hooks. Behind the mouth is a narrow neck or introvert which can elongate but is seen retracted; at lower left is part of the swollen trunk. The pear-shaped body enables Phascolion to push its way between sand grains, anchor with its hooks, then pulls its body along. It feeds on sand and removes microorganisms in sand like bacteria. Meiofauna play an essential role keeping beaches clean. Magnification: x550 at 6x6cm size. x825 at 4x4"

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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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