Google+

Marine Worms in St Augustine

 

Marine Worms in St Augustine

    By Trish Elliott

 

One of the many activities for the entire family in St. Augustine, FL, is to enjoy the 43 miles of pristine beaches.  Zach McKenna and his staff of naturalists and marine experts, of Ecotours of St. Augustine,  offer fascinating and detailed adventures to examine the beach life of the area.  The creatures include fiddler crabs, oysters, different sea grasses, marine worms, algae, jelly fish, sea glass, and a vast array of coastal birds and reptiles.

 

 

But what are marine worms? Why don’t we hear more about them?

There are over 8,00 kinds of different marine worms in the world, and the area around St. Augustine boasts millions of these tiny Yellow-crowned-Night-Heron-w-marine-worm-_MG_5518-St.jpgcreatures, called polychaetes.  A marine worm is a worm that lives any water area.  They usually sport a segmented body, like an earthworm, and often have tiny spikes, and have specialized tentacles that allow them to take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide.  Adults can be free swimming or sedentary, and larvae are free swimming. They are important because they turn over the sediment on the ocean’s bottom and are part of a complicated sea ecosystem. They are often brightly colored, and can grow up to 10 feet.

The Flatworm can be found around the beaches of St. Augustine. This creature typically favors rocky bottom cover,  and are not easily spotted. Flatworms are simple animals. They have no circulatory systems, and because their bodies are so flat, oxygen simply penetrates directly into tissue without the benefit of a respiratory system. Flatworms’ mouths take in nutrients and also expel undigested waste. However, these worms are also accomplished predators. When they catch snails, bivalves, or other prey they simply wrap their bodies around their victims and inject them with digestive enzymes.

 

The spaghetti worm typically hides in rocks or crevices.  Though a typical worm’s body is only 6 inches long, its tentacles may spread out over six times that length. Spaghetti worm tentacles employ grooves to channel small organic particles to the worm’s mouth, or simply grab and stuff larger morsels. If a tentacle is lost or snapped up by a fish, a new one can be grown to take its place, much like the earthworm.

 

Another fascinating marine worm is The Feather Duster Worm because it fans out and resembles the softness of a feather duster.  Its feathers are actually tentacles that feature a line of fine hairs, and catch the light.  These bottom-dwelling worms use these fans to gather plankton and other bits of floating food, as well as to take in the oxygen they need to survive.  Some feather dusters have fans as large as six inches across.  Feather duster worms build their own tubes, using mucus and bits of sand or mud, and then live within them attached to hard seafloor surfaces. The worms can retract completely into their tubes when threatened by an animal or even a sudden motion or light. The “feather duster” crown sticking out of a typical tube is a suite of tentacles that adorns the worm’s head.  They are fascinating creatures that come in a lovely array of colors.

 

The yellow marine worm is one of some 8,000 species of Polychaetes, named for the many bristles that typically cover their bodies. Polychaetes are holdovers from a far more ancient Earth. They appear in the fossil record at least as early as the Cambrian period, 540 to 490 million years ago.

 

Fireworms are edged in deep red, and boast an array of toxic bristles. These bristles have hollow tubes filled with poison, which break easily when touched, to discourage predators. They also inflict a painful rash on any human who handles them. Fireworms are carnivores that feast on corals, snails, or other worms. They surprise and snare such fare with hidden jaws concealed inside an innocent-looking, rounded front end.

 

Make sure you take one of Ecotours of St. Augustine’s beach tours, and you will learn about many sea creatures, as well as the simple but highly functional sea worm!

Plan your Eco tour by visiting Zach and team at:  St Augustine Ecotours.com

Source: Baret News Wire

REQUEST INFORMATION

Entertainment

For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel L. Jackson) negotiate a dangerous gauntlet en route to the Hague where he's set to testify in 24 … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on various issues, but it is the King of the Jungle who will be taking center stage. For those who are … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a rod and reel and who’s always looking for ways to tweak a lure or find a stronger knot would spend a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On the same day, fans of Oregon State and Colorado State will see an active match-up, and Portland … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness stunning landscapes, mixed with amazing history, while dining on acclaimed regional cuisine and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance your home, you need to do it ASAP. If choosing to wait too much longer, homeowners across the … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Business

Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need

  Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need by Amy Lignor   The realm of insurance is just about the most difficult maze to get through. Each and every day it seems the financial and insurance industries are changing. What is not changing, however, is the fact that lawsuits fill up the courts more and more – lawsuits that award cash to third parties even if you don’t happen to have that cash saved. More and more, the words “umbrella … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans... Many [Black] political leaders emerged … [Read More its Good for You...]