Zooillogix would like to take a moment to introduce you to Parborlasia corrugatus, a proboscis worm residing in the waters of Antarctica. We should note that we were inspired to learn more about these cute little fellows from this outstanding pic we saw on Ugly Overload.
Photo credit Jeff Miller
P. corrugatus grows up to two meters in length, comes in a variety of delightful colors, and kills its prey by rapidly and repeatedly stabbing it with a harpoon-like barbed proboscis! This proboscis has adhesive secretions which secure it in place. When threatened, this fast moving giant death worm secretes an acidic mucus that predators avoid. Interestingly, I believe I learned about P. corrugatus inadvertently almost three months ago when I defeated him in Level 9 of Ninja Gaiden II for Xbox 360.
Both a hunter and scavenger, worm-monster eats almost anything, including sponges, jellyfish, diatoms, seastars, anemones, polychaete worms, mollusks, crustaceans, fish and divers. The worms frequently engage in feeding frenzies around carcasses, forming what scientists refer to as “a rubber band ball of terror.”
Lacking a respiratory system, P. corrugatus absorbs oxygen through its skin. When oxygen levels drop, it flattens and elongates to increase surface area for absorption and minimize the distance oxygen must travel within the body. It’s flexible body also allows it to swallow food almost as a large as itself.
more pics below the fold
P. corrugatus joins in on the feeding frenzy when the small seastar Odontaster validus attacks en masse the large seastar Acodontaster conspicuus
Fish egg dinner
Here it is feasting on Benny’s brain in one of his nightmares
Ref – –
Brueggeman, Peter, 1998. Underwater Field Guide to Ross Island & McMurdo Sound, Antarctica