Annelida Marine Worm Facts and Characteristics

The Phylum Annelida are invertebrate marine worms which are broadly characterized by their segmented body often being covered in bristles.

Most annelids are nocturnal creatures.

Bristle worms can release their hair-like whiskers as an irritating defense mechanism.

The species of tube worms construct and live inside a calcerous tunnel or tube.

One of the many unique Annelida characteristics, is that they hide inside the tube for safety except when feeding.

When they come out to feed they display bristle structures which extend outwards from the tube.

Annelida segmented worms are scavengers although some species are planktivores.

Their diet consists of flatworms, small crustaceans and mollusks.

A Picture of a Bearded FirewormThe filter-feeders eat plankton and most species of zooplankton.

Annelids are important contributors to the marine food chain.

Their major predators are feeding fish and mollusks.

The ocean floor burrowing worms recycle detritus organic material and help to aerate sediment and substrate.

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