16 May 2010

Christmas Tree Worm

In the early scenes of the recent movie Avatar, several of the alien creatures are based on real life marine organisms. One of them is based on the Christmas Tree Worm (Spirobranchus giganteus), which are quite abundant in our area. If you've seen the movie, you'll recognize it here:

Christmas Tree Worm

Of course, they're quite a bit smaller in real life, only about an inch or two. They fan out, collecting food suspended in the water and retract when disturbed, just like in the movie. Despite not really looking like it, they are actually a worm, a segmented worm to be exact.

Christmas Tree Worm from South Caicos

Multi-Colored Christmas Tree Worms in Sosúa, Dominican Republic

1 comment:

  1. Hey, This is one of the students who just left SFS from Ohio, I was wondering if you could give me the email address of Kate, I lost my phone and im hoping it fell out in the van or in the computer room or something.