Mary’s Monday Metazoan: I have been, and always shall be, a worm

And I’m quite proud of it, even if, admittedly, I’m not quite as flamboyant as these worms.



  1. Lofty says

    What use have mere worms of such beauty when there’s no creationist to gush lawdy talk all over them? Oh, yes, evolution throws up some fascinating creatures in places humans aren’t comfortable.

  2. Owlmirror says

    Worm… Fish… Monkey…

    Can’t you evilutionists keep your phylogeny story straight?

    I, on the other hand, am the direct descendant of a man made out of dirt and his opposite-sex clone sister, made in the image of and by a nonphysical magical person.

    You know it makes more sense.

  3. Stacy says


    OK, can somebody who understands cladistics explain to me–under cladistics, are we all bacteria? (Or archaea?) If not, why not?

  4. ChasCPeterson says

    Of course, “worm” is the least-precise zoological category of all. We are no more closely related to these polychaete annelids than to cockroaches or squids.

    Stacy: the origin of us eukaryotes from prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) is poorly understood and rather controversial. Probably eukaryotes resulted from the fusion of two or more very different prokaryotes, so it’s a unique situation not really comparable to the usual descent with modification. Cladistics don;t really apply very well in such a scenario.

  5. Stacy says

    @ChasCPeterson–thanks. I’ve been wondering ever since I read about cladistics in Colin Tudge’s The Variety of Life.

  6. rq says

    I’m not quite as flamboyant

    All it takes is more pink ribbons, PZ.
    What a stunning worm!

  7. Athywren says

    Is it just me, or is that worm quite clearly in the middle of a rousing chorus?
    “Aaaaaaaaaaaah’m every worman, it’s all in meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

  8. azhael says

    Cladistics talk? Is it christmas already? We get to see that in youtube at some point, right?

  9. Artor says

    Don’t feel bad PZ. With a feather boa and some disco pants, you could be as flamboyant as a Reap Paden photoshop with no trouble at all. That aside, could you please include some information with these fascinating critters you share? I’m sure you could offer a paragraph about some juicy tidbit of the worm’s life cycle, sexual habits, etc.

  10. busterggi says

    Oh no, that critter doesn’t fool me, I see those tentacles – it has ambitions to be a mollusk!

  11. cheesynougats says


    Personal preference, but I imagine They Might Be Giants instead.

    (I would link, but I live in fear of the anchor tag)

  12. mothra says

    If you scroll down rapidly while looking at the worm picture, it appear to be coiling. (the segments appear to move). Great optical illusion.