Thank you all for your thoughts. The technical guy who shot these photos just
informed me that the area of the photograph is considerably smaller than
what i had been led to believe. he says the image is actually 0.38 sq. m.
That means the organism in the photograph is well within the likely size
range of a terebellid. If I had a tripod at work today, I could have gotten
a better image. But this one shows appendiges, not just channels in the
sediment. That was what led me think it might be a terebellid.
Mario H. Londoño Mesa wrote:
>> Hi All,
> In Mexican Caribbean, I have found terebellids (Eupolymnia) with 15-20 cm
> long in thorax and abdomen, and with almost 100 cm long in extended
> tentacles, in living animals. When the animal is stressed or fixed,
> tentacles could reduced until 7-10 cm. Nevertheless, these terebellids I
> have seen come from rocky bottoms, at about 2-3 m depth.
>> According to the picture, sand prints are straight, concentric from the
> central point, which make me think that they could be marks of tentacles
> from any terebellid or relative to them. They use to extend the tentacles
> almost in straight direction, only moving the tips for touching everyting
> the substrate. In rocky bottoms, it is almost impossible to have such
> surface, but I have seen almost the same observation in sand bottoms.
>> Mario Londoño
>>> 2010/4/21 Will Ambrose <wambrose from bates.edu>
>>> Not all a Terebellids' tentacles need be out at one time. This looks just
>> like a Terebellid. There is a relationship between tentacle length and
>> length, but it does not follow that a worm need be longer than its
>> tentacles. But, Terebellids can get quite large-10-15 cm.
>>>>>> Geoff Read wrote:
>>>>> Actually, I have another suggestion. If those are mainly feeding trace
>>> grooves rather than tentacles (the photo size is too small to tell, and
>>> there is high contrast, but I am suspicious) it could be an echiuran
>>> in the middle. They have amazingly long reach with a single proboscis.
>>> terebellids get very big - but don't they have many more tentacles than
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