Dec 30, 2008

Strangest Invertebrate Ever (Maybe)

Both jynxcat and Jim sent this little guy in. Daniel, whose hand we see bearing the creature, finds them while digging beneath rocks in New South Wales, Australia. (Which would lead a lot of people to stop digging beneath rocks). There are lots of guesses as to what this might be, but I know several of you can pin down a relatively specific ID. Any takers?

For the rest of us who don't have the scientific detachment needed to compartmentalize our reaction, enjoy being ooged out.

(If the player is acting weird (Flickr's issue, not yours), just click around on the progress bar, and you'll get an idea of what it's doing).

10 comments:

Rick MacPherson said...

Nemertean worm? I've seen that everting proboscis-like organ behavior while handling milky nemerteans, but their mostly marine and rather flat...

my other guess is a type of Echiuran, or spoon worm...

very cool regardless of species

Christopher Taylor said...

I was going to guess at a nemertean, as well. I believe echiuran proboscids (probosces?) aren't retractable like that.

The Wombat might be interested to know that some nemerteans include the longest animals in the world. While lengths are a little difficult to measure due to the delicate nature of the animals, some species certainly reach over 30 m.

John Gunn said...

Wow, I live in Australia and have NEVER seen anything like that. Just going out to turn over some rocks in my yard. Be back soon, I hope.

Kevin Zelnio said...

Looks like a nemertean. Rick probably meant sipunculun, not echiuran. It looks a lot like a sipunculan, which can evert out a linear featureless pharynx but I've never heard of a terrestrial sipunculan before. That doesn't mean they don't exist, just that I study marine biology!

Flartus said...

Wombat, I think we're gonna need a fancier word for "ugly."

Anonymous said...

Terrestrial Ribbon Worm:
geonemertes australiensis

booge said...

Ewww. I don't want that thing on my hand, Sir. Too afraid it'd stab me and lay eggs in me and I'd end up as some Twilight Zone/House episode case. But I'm very glad someone else did so I can get my voyeuristic kicks from this.

Anonymous said...

I am with John Gunn, god I love living in Ausralia!
DQ

Nervavels said...

oh. ugh. ugh ugh ugh. the ONLY thing so far that's made me go Ugh.
gotta go crawl in a corner now. ugh.

LibrarianJessica said...

I have to admit that I had a stereotypical girl response when it spit its guts out like toothpaste and then sucked them back in... shaking my hands out and saying "ew, ew, ew." Nice find.