Meet The Alien Marine Ribbon Worm

Meet The Alien Marine Ribbon Worm

This scary alien creature is ribbon worm which terrified many people over the internet. Ribbon worms usually feed on scavenges and dead animals.

creepy-worms_1024

Some species of this worm family are parasites and live on marine invertebrates, while other species live in symbiotic relationships with mussels. They locate the food by chemical signals or simply by pure chance. These worms use their slimy webs, or sharp, sometimes even poisonous, tooth-like structure (stylet) in their hunt for prey.

The most weird sea ribbon worm uses its darting web-shaped substance to catch prey. That bloodthirsty worm shoots white “webs” showing its most deadly attack method by shooting out its proboscis. This is an elongated appendage like a nose that’s usually stored inside its body, in a fluid-filled chamber above the gut.  These worms, when threatened, explode a proboscis from its mouth to attack prey. Like Spider-man to snare hapless prey with his webs, it strands branch out immediately, and snake outwards across the enemy.

The scientists explain that when it senses prey nearby, the circular muscle around the ribbon worm’s proboscis sheath strongly contracts, and force the fluid to move from the sheath into the proboscis. This reaction causes the proboscis to go inside out, and blow it out of the sheath and the animal’s body. In just a second or less, the proboscis wraps itself around the prey, which is then drawn into the mouth and later eaten.

A ribbon worm’s food consists of small crustaceans and segmented worms which are captured by trial and error. When the worm succeeds in its attack the proboscis coils around the preys body, which later bring the food to its mouth. The digestive system is straight and doesn’t have muscles, and movement of the food in it occurs mainly by ciliary action.

It’s estimated there are between 900 and 1,400 species of ribbon worms in the world.  Some can reach a length of 98 ft (30 meters) even though their bodies are only a few millimeters wide. Ribbon worms have a complete digestive system, anus and mouth, as well as their unique proboscis.

This phylum includes more than 1150 registered, mostly marine species. They seem to have existed on earth since the Cambrian period (500 million years.) Traditionally, the ribbon worms are classified into two families, the Enopla (ribbon worms with one or more styles) and the Anopla (exclusively for those without.) It likes rocky or sandy bottom and lower shore, where it coils up in the crevices and under boulders. It has been found along the coast of Europe, from Gibraltar to British Isles, Iceland and Norway.

In its body there is no cavity between the gut and the body wall; but this space is filled by aparenchyma, the spongy tissue. This condition is found also in the flatworms. Sexes are separate but some of these worm species can reproduce asexually. 

Video by: Dregg 888

An individual worm has multiple ovaries or testes, each with a separate opening to the outside. Most of nemerteans species also possess remarkable powers of regeneration.