The wonderful world of the deep sea holds treasures untold!
This was such a fascinating article to read and was loads of fun making into an infographic. I can just imagine these worms’ feeding disputes looking like a miniature version of the sandworm battles on Dune! 🤣 Surely there is enough whalefall for everyone?
Figure A: Peinaleopolynoe orphanae. Deep sea Polynoid scale worms belong to the Peinaleopolynoe genus in the Annelida phylum. They are distantly related to terrestrial earthworms.
Figure B: Peinaleopolynoe elvisi. Unlike their earthworm counterparts, these segmented worms sport protective iridescent scales similar in function to the
fore wings of beetles.
Figure C: Peinaleopolynoe goffrediae. They are also detritus feeders, but unlike earthworms, scale worms feed on the fallen giants of the sea; whale carcasses!
Figure D: Peinaleopolynoe mineoi. They have well developed jaws and are aggressive, taking bites out of one another’s scales during feeding disputes!
Avery S. Hatch et al. Hungry scale worms: Phylogenetics of Peinaleopolynoe (Polynoidae, Annelida), with four new species. ZooKeys (2020).