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Mary’s Monday Metazoan: GIANT CARNIVOROUS RIBBON WORMS

These are awesome. I want a swarm for a pet.

worms

Upwards of 3 feet long and in some cases-as thick as a garden hose and have the texture of jello. There’s mucus. These things are crazy.

Key words: EAT EVERYTHING. ALIVE or DEAD. These have been fed almost everything-and they eat what’s given them: fecal pellets, starfish, dead seal meat, fish, sponges, sea anemones, worms amphipods, penguin meat, sardine meat (with tomato sauce!) and on and on….

(via The Echinoblog.)

Comments

  1. Anthony K says

    But will they eat spinach?

    Or spinach full of…atmospheric carbon dioxide?

  2. Anthony K says

    Is that where all the old bootlaces go to breed?

    Looks like it. These won’t stay tied either.

  3. carlie says

    Is that where all the old bootlaces go to breed?

    Close. It’s the bootstraps the GOP says you’re supposed to pull yourself up with.

  4. says

    Why, it’s so nice that they save the face for last. In fact, it’s almost artistic. If you don’t look too closely it looks like a curly-red-haired, bearded fish.

    (I just got an error message when I tried to submit. Sorry if this posts twice. Here goes…)

  5. Stacy says

    Oh dear. Huge squishy ravenous omnivorous worms. I just want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head.

    Yes. Yes, I am a wimp.

  6. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    But do they eat live seal meat?…..???

    And this: “These have been fed almost everything-and they eat what’s given them” – who’s been feeding them? Inquiring minds want to know.

  7. playonwords says

    How long before Hollywood makes a “B” movie about them?

    BTW what is it about spinach? Lovely vegetable.

    Cook the whole leaf (de-stalked if older), put a very thin layer of oil in a pot, season with a little salt and nutmeg, put the lid on heat and occasionally stir until well wilted. Then a white sauce made with finely chopped or crushed garlic.

  8. saganite says

    I’m surprised that they are so multi-coloured. I expected some greyish mass of wriggling worms, not something so… pretty… yet still wriggling.

  9. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    So if they eat anything will they eat radioactive waste?

    (Imagines these things turned into their Godzilla mutant equivalents.)

  10. boygenius says

    saganite:

    I’m surprised that they are so multi-coloured.

    This was my first thought* as well. Is it due to different levels of maturity? Is it because some of them have been eating spinach and others have been eating bootlaces and Bob’s laptop case? A quick googlefu turns up nothing, although I did learn that the ‘lil squishees have an acidic mucus with a pH of 3.5, which indicates that you would want to add a little salt and simmer for a while to balance the flavor.

    *Actually, my first thought was: I’m surprised that they are so multi-colored.

  11. Jerry says

    I’m going to try playonwords’ recipe in comment #15- it sounds tasty. My no-time recipe for spinach is nuking a package of frozen chopped spinach until it is cooked but still bright green, pressing out the liquid, then adding lemon juice (bottled), stir, then add olive oil. If I’m feeling really adventurous, I add some garlic powder. It’s no comment #15, but everyone likes it. It’s sole other virtue is that it takes very little time to prepare on a busy weeknight.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    Do they eat Spanish snails? We have a bioinvasion of those, and apart from Canadian Geese (who crap all over the place, making things worse) there is no natural enemy that can tolerate their taste.