01 January 2009
Unusual locomotion by a worm
I'll start the New Year by blogging two worm videos; I found the upper one posted this morning at Arbroath. It appears to be a terrestrial annelid (rather than an insect larva or flatworm), but the curious aspect is the creature's locomotion. Worms typically move by expanding their anterior body segments while the posterior ones are contracted and grip the ground. In this specimen the extension is quite remarkable, and it give the appearance of an extensible inner sheath, or a body protected by a "foreskin."
Judging by the voices of the narrators, the video was probably filmed in Australia, which is home to the Giant Gipsland Earthworm (see lower video). Perhaps this is a small one of those?
While searching for info on this worm, I encountered a relevant blog - Worms of Endearment. I've left a query there; perhaps the blogger can help us out if the Aussies on the board don't have the answer.
p.s. - it's definitely not a Mongolian Death Worm.