Project Description

The jointed three-section tubeworm (Spiochaetopterus costarum) is a very interesting animal.  The long palps protruding from its tube have the function of keeping the tube clear of debris, as well as removing waste products.  The tube itself is transparent with regular rings spaced along its length.  There are three sections of this animal that have specific functions.  The anterior section is responsible for making the tube in which the animal lives. The middle section is responsible for feeding, and this worm uses cilia (small hairs) to create water flow through the tube.  The posterior section is dedicated towards reproduction, or gamete development.  The jointed three-section tubeworm can grow its tube to at least 25 inches (63 cm) long, with the animal itself reaching a length of 19 inches (48 cm).  It has a range that includes Japan, southern Alaska to southern California, and the northern Atlantic Ocean.