Pyrosome, world’s giant sea worm ?

by spotmydive

Is Giant pyrosome a worm?

Things are not always what they seem to be. Pyrosome is a perfect example to illustrate that quote. With its long translucent body, Pyrosome looks just like a giant worm but yet it is not one! This stange creature is actually a colony of several hundred or even thousands of zooids, micro organisms, huddled together thanks to a kind of gelatin. This creature use to live in temperate and warm seas.

What Pyrosome looks like ?

It measures generally less than 3 meters, but can sometimes reach 20 meters long. This animal has a heart, a nervous system and organs who produce a bright light ,that’s what its name is also “body of fire”. The pyrosome is a water filter feeding from organic particles in suspension. To feed, pyrosome sucks seawater using buccal siphons on the front of the colony then spit out the water filtered through an opening located at the end of the colony.

Reproduction and behavior

The pyrosome is hermaphrodite which means it owns a testicle and an ovary. It reproduces by budding, sort of cloning, where every baby is similar in all aspects to his father. This body can move, but most of the time, it slips near the surface of the water, pushed by the current. Pyrosome when bother by predators go directly to 500 meters deep where it can emits a blue light. It’s at this dephts where is bioluminescence looks like a marvelous dance !