Polychaete worm 

Zooplankton Family: 

This type of worm is a bottom feeder that live in mud and that float around the oceans floor.  There are about 9000 species of annelids and more then 8000 of them are polychaetes. These worms are among the most common in marine organisms that can be found in the bottom of the oceans sea floor. Some of them may reach the length of three meters long when they are fully grown.  From my lab work what I noticed when I first saw this organism for the first time, was that it had an almost dragon look to it.  I also noticed right away that it was a predator, when I watched it eat plankton right in front of my eye.  Showing that this worm doesn’t mess around even when its environment is changed it can still take over a new environment and be at the top of the food chain. 

The life of a Polychaete worm:

In this article they were testing the effects of different water environment on Polychaete worms to see how it would affect them.  And to see how their growth would change. Right away they saw signs of growth on the test worms. The test went on for 28 days, the growth rate was milligrams dry weight per day.  The test worms were juveniles about two to three weeks old.

“For example, grain size had no significant effect, whereas the number of worms placed in each exposure vessel was critical. Direct transfer from 30%0 seawater to salinites ≤15%0 had a highly significant and adverse effect on survival and growth”. (“Development of a Chronic Sublethal Bioassay for Evaluating Contaminated Sediment with the Marine Polychaete Worm Nereis (Neanthes) Arenaceodentata.” – Dillon. 2016”).

From reading this article I noticed right away that this was a long test to see how the Polychaete worms would survive in a different environment. And to also see if they would have any significant changes in their growth and or looks.

In this next article I found they are talking about super rare fossils of a Polychaete worm, in Herefordshire Konservat–Lagerstätte of England. They found three different fossils of Polychaete worms that are in perfect condition. Which is very rare to find since, most of the fossils that are found of Polychaete worms. Are usually compressed and are to poorly preserved for meaningful comparison with extant forms. “The new genus has a generalized polychaete morphology with large biramous parapodia, unspecialized anterior segments and a small prostomium with median and lateral antennae and ventral prostomial palps. Cirriform branchiae arise from the ventral surface of each notopodium, and may be homologous with the inter–ramal branchiae of the extant nephtyids(Brilliant Brittle Stars.” About.com Education. N.p., n.d.”).  In this article what I learned was that that studying these fossils are a very complex proses. Just finding a Polychaete worm fossils that is in good condition is a very rare so I wonder how many they have found that weren’t in good condition.  Because when I was looking at the Polychaete worms under the micro scope I noticed that it was a transparent organism.

Polychaete environment

From reading these two articles I have learned that Polychaete worms are actually pretty significant organisms for scientist to study and do test on in the field. And that they are very adaptable organisms to a new environment. What I think that this could teach the humans of the 21st century is that life can live in some strange environment and can take very odd forms to us as humans. Also when we go into the ocean we are trespassing on the high way of the plankton, diatoms and crustaceans that are all around us all the time in the water. And we shouldn’t be so harsh to the oceans because with out all the smaller life in the ocean the food chain would die off and maybe even us along with it.