Gnathostomulida is an entire phylum of microscopic worms that live buried beneath the seabed.

They have no circulatory or respiratory systems, but they do have a fearsome set of jaws for scraping bacteria, fungi and protists from grains of sand.

There are lots of worms that would be terrifying if they were a few metres bigger. Some of them would just cut you in half, but it looks like this one would scrape the flesh from your bones.

That’s why biodiversity is important.

Images: Martin V. Sørensen

Myrianida pachycera is a polychaete worm with a very strange reproductive cycle.
It begins with an adult reproducing asexually by budding, forming a crazy tail of growing wormlings.
As the youngsters become full grown they detach, swim to the water’s surface, release either eggs or sperm and then die.
The eggs hatch and the new worms soon descend to grow a whole new tail of sexual wormlings.
Like some kind of ascetic, you can have life, or you can have sex. You can’t have both.

Myrianida pachycera is a polychaete worm with a very strange reproductive cycle.

It begins with an adult reproducing asexually by budding, forming a crazy tail of growing wormlings.

As the youngsters become full grown they detach, swim to the water’s surface, release either eggs or sperm and then die.

The eggs hatch and the new worms soon descend to grow a whole new tail of sexual wormlings.

Like some kind of ascetic, you can have life, or you can have sex. You can’t have both.

Fat Innkeeper Worm. A burrowing worm which gets its name from the wide variety of creatures who move into its burrow and live there.

It feeds by building a funnel-shaped net of mucus at the burrow entrance and pumping water through it to trap plankton. Then it eats the net and everything in it.

Also known as the Penis Fish. Mainly because of what it looks like, rather than its sense of satisfaction at spitting out a load of mucus.