Losing your head
g.read at niwa.co.nz
Thu Mar 3 15:42:29 EST 2005
> Seems like most of the scissiparous (I'm looking forward to
> using that word in polite conversation sometime in the next year) critters
> either live in dense mats, tubicolous, burrowers, or otherwise tend to
> protect their backsides while exposing their heads to potential cropping by
> crabs, fish, etc.
It's a while since I tried to make sense of all the "Schizo-" terms used in
polychaetology but I thought scissiparous is intentional *reproduction* by
splitting, usually applied to stolonising syllids? Certainly 'parous' implies
birth & thus multiplication.
At the moment I can't think of an existing impressive shorthand for "I can
regenerate my head if you bite it off" (cephalic ablation). Cropping losses,
particularly of tails, are a known part of secondary production. I guess if
you're a worm you've got to be (genetically) prepared for such contingencies,
but not actually encourage the event (the quick and the headless!).
Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.co.nz>
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