12 foot worms in central London

Mark Blaxter m.blaxter at ic.ac.uk
Fri Jun 30 11:04:13 EST 1995


        12 Foot Nematodes Found In Central London Museum!
          C. elegans stars in multimedia installation

Anyone in London before 28th August '95 should pop in to the Natural
History Museum in South Kensington, where there's an exhibition called "The
Nature of History" by artist Simon Robertshaw and photographer Sinclair
Stammers.

Part of the exhibit/installation is a 'scope with a plate of C. elegans and
E. coli which is being continually filmed and video-projected live onto a
floor screen.  The adults are 12 ft long and pretty frightening when they
suddenly appear on the floor in front of you.  The worms are there as a
simple living ecosystem, and are showstoppers.

Mark Blaxter

PS there is one other mega-nematode on display in the museum... 
in fact the only other nematode on display (in the marine invertebrates room).
 
It is Crassicauda boopis, a spirurid (family Tetrameridae) parasite of the
kidneys, renal veins and intrarenal urethers of fin whales, Balaenoptera
physalus.  It is NATURALLY >150 cm (5 ft) in length as an adult!  The adult
female worm's head lies in the kidney, while the tail (wherein is located
the vulval opening - vulval cell equivalence groupies take note!) lies in
the bladder.  The eggs and larvae pass out with the urine.





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