What are the worms of the seashore?

Two common worms that you can find on the shore are ragworms and lugworms. Ragworms can be found under stones but lungworms live in burrows in the sand and have to be dug out. Let’s know more about what are the worms of the seashore?

The ragworm is about 8 inches long and swims in a characteristic side to side motion. As the waves overtake the worm, the side extensions in very segment push back like paddles, propelling the worm along.

The paddle also serves as girls, being well supplied with blood vessels, and the tuft of stiff bristles from each helps support it and provides some protection to the animal. Ragworms are carnivorous and can give a bad nip with strong jaws so handle them with care.

What are the worms of the seashore

A ragworm showing the paddles and bristles which project from either side of each segment.

The little-coiled casts of sand on the beach at the low tide mark the openings to the U-shaped tubes in which lug-worms live. In the bend of the tube about a foot done lies the worm. By moving its head and swallowing sand the grains gradually sink above its head leaving a shallow pit on the surface.

What are the worms of the seashore

The red tufts on the lugworm are gills. The U-shaped tube and cast of the animal are also shown.

After feeding for about forty minutes the sand is passed from the worm at the open end of the tube to form the cast. By contracting its body the worm draws water into the tube from this end and this passes over its red gill tufts before flowing out of the other end. Both ragworms and lugworms are prized as bait by sea fishermen.

What are the worms of the seashore

Fan worms extend their feathery crowns to trap food particles in the water.

Other worms which live in tubes are the fan, or feather duster, worms. The tube projects from the sandy floor and for the end, the worm spreads its beautiful crown of tentacles whenever it is covered by the tide. The tentacles shift our particles from the water, the smallest of which are eaten, those slightly bigger are used to extend the tube and the biggest are discarded. In some fanworks, the tentacles act as gills.

Why are Earthworms good for the Soil?

By their constant burrowing earthworms are forever turning over the soil, bringing fresh earth to the surface and covering it again. Their burrows allow air into the soil and water to drain from it.

At night earthworms drag leaves and other plants remain into their burrows and perhaps eat only half, airy, the well-drained earth makes it fertile and ideal for plant growth. Earthworms are adapted to an underground life by being streamlined; they have no projecting flaps or gills.

What are the worms of the seashore

A normal-sized earthworm is shown next to a giant worm from Australia which can grow to 12 feet in length.

However, if you listen to a worm crawling across a sheet of paper you will hear scratching noises. These are made by the short bristles (chaetae) projecting forms each segment on either side. You can feel them by running your finger up the sides of the worm.

It is these chaetae that help the worm crawl and prevent you from pulling it from its burrow head first. All the worms are characterized by their segmented bodies and they form the group called the phylum Annelida.

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