Saturday, January 8, 2011

Creature Feature: Pig-Butt Worm.

This blog covers some pretty weird stuff: trippy colors, shiny bugs, and mind-controlling fungus, to name a few. Frustration upon frustration in the span of a few hours is enough to make me hit you all with one of the weirdest things yet: A pigbutt worm.

No, seriously; even the Latin (Chaetopterus pugaporcinus) thinks that this annelid worm resembles a pig's hindquarters. Another not so flattering name for it is "flying buttocks," which sounds like something out of a Monty Python sketch. There is no flattering name for a worm that resembles an ass.

 Yes, that is a worm. The two middle segments are inflated such that the worm resembles a hazelnut-sized behind. They live just below the oxygen minimum zone in the ocean, which explains why scuba divers and marine biologists were not having underwater gigglefits until recently.

Unfortunately, the entry has to end here. This worm was only discovered recently (2007) by experts at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Said experts suspect that it might even be some weird larval form of some...actually, let's not think about what the adult stage of a floating behind would be. Most worms of this genus have adult forms that live in parchment-like tubes on the ocean floor. A disembodied rear end cannot become anything worse than that...right?

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