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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Creature Feature: Christmas Tree Worms.



Now for a creature that looks like it came straight off of Pandora: The Christmas Tree worm. I'm sure you can see exactly why it is called that. When was the last time you saw a worm with psychedelic evergreens on its back?

Yes, I know, it's another worm. This one is more closely related to earthworms and leeches (common 'eww' worms), but is completely harmless. Hell, you probably will not even see one unless you take a dive into the ocean or know somebody with a very good reef aquarium setup. Some hobbyists select wild coral with these worms on them just because they display so well.

Avatar's Pandora had sensitive plants (which are also a real thing) based on the breathing structures of these magical little worms. If touched, the plants would quickly retract into the ground...



...just like the worms' "gills." They can be used for feeding as well as breathing, so we're using the term loosely.



They also have some of the trippiest spawns ever caught on camera. It's even more apparent in this video that the stalks themselves also look like something out of a movie. Tim Burton, jump on these guys befo- oh, wait, Cameron already put them on Pandora. Never mind.

(I'll do a vertebrate tomorrow, I swear...)

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