Only slightly ceph: swima worms and comparative morphology


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Thanks to Phil for pointing this one out. In a recent Science publication, Karen Osborn et al. describe a new class of deep sea dwelling worms, that go by the name of swima worms. They have some interesting attributes with regard to bioluminescence, such as the ability to "drop" little light bombs to distract would be predators. When I saw one particular species in the accompanying photographs, I was really struck by how basic some adaptations are that lead to diverse groups of species such as Cephalopods and, say, Anomalocarids, all derived from the same segmented bodyplan. The second specimen from the left in the accompanying photograph (C.O. BBC Science news) being a fine example of all the building blocks being available.



Clearly, segmentation and specialization of body segments were a fundamental factor in the diversity and adaptive radiation of successful groups like the arthopoda and annelida.

The video in the link below shows how beautifully one of these animals uses its parapodia for locomotion.

Cheers, ob.

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