Echiurus echiurus

Echiurans are primarily marine worms with a few species tolerating brackish waters. They inhabitat all climate zones and all depths. Echiurans are non-segmented, bilaterally symmetrical worms that are probably closely related to annelids (bristle worms). Some species get as large as 30 cm. Echiurans inhabit u-shaped burrows and use their long spoon-shaped proboscis to collect food particles from the sediment surface surrounding the burrow.

Their body is muscular, sac-like, cylindrical or in some species, ribbon-shaped. Near the mouth, they have muscular proboscis which, in contrast to the sipunculans, is never withdrawn into the body. The long digestive tracts have many coils.

About 160 species are known worldwide, and only 2 live in the Arctic.

Page Author: Bodil Bluhm
Created: Sept 20, 2010

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