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Micro-polychaete worm (Augeneriella dubia), SEM

Micro-polychaete worm (Augeneriella dubia), SEM

C037/0457

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Credit

DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Augeneriella dubia polychaete. The Polychaeta are a class of annelid worms, generally marine. Most polychaetes crawl on the ocean floor, but others have modified body structures to adapt to various ecological niches. A. dubia, a microscopic polychaete (also known as a micro-polychaete, feather duster worm, bristle worm or fan worm), has a segmented body topped by a radial crown made up of 3 pairs of finger-like radioli (tentacles, shown here) that function in filter feeding and respiration. The head includes a pair of antennae, tentacle-like palps (only 1 palp is shown here), and a pair of cilia-lined pits known as nuchal organs. These appear to be chemoreceptors that help the worm find food. Each body segment has a pair of fleshy protrusions (parapodia) bearing many chitinous bristles (chaetae) used for movement. Magnification x35 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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