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Why are marine
worms amazing?
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Marine worms = worms living in a marine environment

They belong to many different groups, including: Annelida (segmented worms with both tube worms and bristle worms), Platyhelminthes (flatworms), Nematoda (roundworms), Nemertea (ribbon worms), Sipunculid worms (peanut worms), Echiura (Spoon Worms and Innkeeper Worms), Chaetognatha (arrow worms), Hemichordata (acorn worms), and Phoronida (horseshoe worms).

All those marine worms are very different. The only things that they have in common might be: their global shape and the fact that they are called “worms”.

Here, I am gonna focus on my favourite group which is Annelids, segmented worms, and more specifically on Polychaetes.

Polychaetes = worms with lots of bristles

QU'EST-CE QU'UN POLYCHAÈTE?

QU'EST-CE QU'UN POLYCHAÈTE?

Vers marins de l’ordre Polychaeta, qui comprend les formes errantes (en mouvement) et tubicoles (principalement sédentaires). Ils ont sur la plupart des segments une paire d’appendices charnus et semblables à des pattes portant de nombreux poils (chaetae).

Polychètes = ont de nombreux (poly) poils (chaetae)

Biodiversity and habitats

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Polychaeta, Spionidae

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Polychaeta, Phyllodocidae

Polychaeta, Nereididae

Polychaeta, Capitellidae

Polychaeta, Pectinariidae

Polychaeta, Orbiniidae

Important roles in ecosystems

Sabellaria alveolata reefs

The tubes formed by Sabellaria alveolata form large reef-like hummocks, which serve to further stabilize the boulders.

Seashore Lanice conchilega reef

Lanice conchilega have the capacity to affect the stability and sedimentation within the habitat.

Phragmatopoma caudata reef

The worms remain in their tubes and are almost never seen. At low tide, when above the water, they close the entrance to their tubes and when submerged, they extend their tentacles out of the tube to catch food particles.

Polychaetes are interesting

bioindicators…

A bioindicator is any species or group of species whose function, population, or status can reveal the qualitative status of the environment. Bioindicators can tell us about the cumulative effects of different pollutants in the ecosystem and about how long a problem may have been present.

CONCLUSION

Marine worms are amazing because:

  • They have a huge biodiversity

  • They can be found in all oceans around the world

  • They have an important role in sediments through bioturbation

  • They provide food for fish

  • They can be keystone species and ecosystem engineers

  • They are interesting bioindicators to estimate the quality of the environment

I challenge you to take the quiz!

[qwiz style=”border-width: none !important; border-color: #cccccc !important; ” align=”center” repeat_incorrect=”true”]

[q multiple_choice=”true”] What is a polychaete?

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[q multiple_choice=”true”] Where can you find polychaetes?

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[f]IFJlYWQgdGhlIHNlY3Rpb24gb24gaGFiaXRhdHMgdG8gZmluZCB0aGUgYW5zd2VyIDop[Qq]

[q] What is bioturbation?

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[q multiple_choice=”true”] Can fish eat marine worms?

[c]IFll cw==[Qq]

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[c]IE5v[Qq]

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[q multiple_choice=”true”] Are polychaetes ecosystem engineers?

[c]IFllcw==[Qq]

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[c]IE5v[Qq]

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[q multiple_choice=”true”] What is a bioindicator?

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[f]IFdlbGwgZG9uZSE=IA==QSBiaW9pbmRpY2F0b3IgaXMgYW55IHNwZWNpZXMgb3IgZ3JvdXAgdGhhdCBnaXZlcyBpbmZvcm1hdGlvbiBvbiB0aGUgaGVhbHRoIG9mIHRoZSBlbnZpcm9ubWVudC4gUG9seWNoYWV0ZXMgcmVwcmVzZW50IGEgYmlvbG9naWNhbCBpbmRpY2F0b3Igb2Yg[Qq]biodiversity, organic enrichment, heavy metal pollution, and organic contaminants.

[x] [restart]

[/qwiz]