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Terebellid worm under a microscope.

Polychaete pasta?

Magnified under a microscope, the tentacles of a terebellid —a marine polychaete worm, also called the "spaghetti worm"—look like an impossible tangle of pink yarn or vermicelli. Those sticky tentacles are used for feeding. Brought up by the submersible Alvin from 2,450 meters (8,100 feet) depth, the terebellid was found on an expedition co-led by biologist Tim Shank to the "Rosebud" hydrothermal vent site near the Galapagos Islands. The seafloor in the area had been covered by fresh lava and was being re-colonized by strange deep-sea animals. The expedition was featured on the WHOI "Dive and Discover" Web site. (Photo by Stace Beaulieu, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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