10 Aug '12, 5am

The Tide Chaser: Horseshoe Worm (Phylum Phoronida) of Singapore

The Tide Chaser: Horseshoe Worm (Phylum Phoronida) of Singapore

Horseshoe Worms (phylum Phoronida) are marine worms with a crown of tentacles (lophophore) arranged in a somewhat horseshoe shape if viewed from the top (hence the common name). They live in tubes made from chitin (like our finger nails) that support and protect their soft bodies. Horseshoe Worms superficially resemble the annelid tube worms, but their bodies are not segmented, unlike the latter. They are filter feeders, and gather tiny plankton or other organic matter with their tentacles. Horseshoe worms perform respiration through the lophophore, and while they are heartless, the main blood vessels can contract in waves to transport the blood, which interestingly contains hemoglobin (like our blood). They mostly reproduce sexually externally, broadcasting their eggs and sperms. Some are hermaphroditic possessing both male and female reproductive organs, while others are...

Full article: http://tidechaser.blogspot.com/2012/08/horseshoe-worm-pho...

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