Friday, May 29, 2009

Feather Duster Worm

[Originally posted to the Moorea Coral Reef LTER (MCR LTER) Marine Life Encyclopedia]

Fanworms or Feather Duster Worm
(Family Sabellidae)

Fanworms or Feather Duster Worm - Family Sabellidae
Photo by Gerick Bergsma

Feather duster worms live in tubes usually formed by binding sand or mud together with mucus.  The tubes often extend into the substrate, and if disturbed, the worm will retract its feathery gills into the tube and out of harm's way.

Worms in this family are found throughout the world's oceans.

Members of this family live in almost all benthic marine habitats, including mud, sand, rubble and rock bottoms.

Feather duster worms feed on suspended organic matter and plankton filtered from the water.

Quick Fact
The feather duster worm's "feathers" serve both as gills and as a feedings structure.  Food captured by the feathery structure is carried by cilia to the worm's mouth.

Learn More

- Moorea Biocode Database

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