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FEATHER DUSTER WORM (Sabellastarte australis)
Biodiversity > Marine Life > Segmented worms

Feather duster worm

Tiny feather duster worms (Sabellastarte australis) live in rock pools at lord Howe Island. Their beautiful feathery crowns are actually the head of the worm, whose body may be 5 or 6 cm long, encased in a tough papery tube. The fine plumes are extended to assist breathing and catch food particles, and also have sensitive spots that detect changes in light intensity. A delicate touch, or even the passing of a shadow, causes a lightning quick retraction of the feathery plumes, then a slow expansion once danger is past.


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