The Scottish sea worm with eyes on its butt

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Some people claim to have eyes in the back of the head. Perhaps it is just as well, because of a new marine worm discovered off the coast of Scotland, and has eyes in the back of her ass.

The insolent little worm, for the first time, as described in the June issue of the European Journal of Taxonomy, this is called Ampharete oculicirrata, the last part of the name refers to the pair of beady, black eyes (or oculi) on the worm and of the cirri, small, tentacle-like blob out of the very nature of the tramp. (To be honest with you, that the worm has a pair of eyes in the vicinity of her mouth, but Ampharete the head and eyes, makes for a less interesting name). [Deep-Sea creepy crawlies: Images of Acorn Worms]

In the above-described marine worm, Ampharete oculicirrata is a tangle of tentacle-like appendages near the mouth, and a pair of beady, black eyes on her ass. (Credit: National Museums Of Scotland)

The researchers discovered that the worm, while the collection of soils samples collected from the West Shetland Shelf Marine Protected Area is just to the north of Scotland, which is considered a hotspot of biodiversity. Within the 50 scoops of sand, taken from about 400 feet (120 meters) below the surface of the water, the team found more than 80 of the worm instances. Each of the measured is 0.15 to 0.2 inch (4-5 millimeters) long, on the average, about the width of a # 2 pencil and eraser.

As in other polychaetes (a class of segmented marine worm), A. oculicirrata is a bottom-feeder, which is illustrated by the overabundance of food, thieves, a circle of tentacles near its mouth. As for the rear sight? It is not uncommon for the polychaetes host of more than one set of eyes, along with their wriggly little bodies, (and with an absent-minded visual network that can help the marine worms, the better to detect the shadows of predators, but, according to the authors of the study are: (A) oculicirrata the posterior peepers, are relatively rare among his next of kin.

According to representatives of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, is a british preservation group who are partly funding the study, and the discovery of this strange worm is so close to the Scottish mainland and is a further demonstration of the variety of life lurking in the sandy habitats in the West of Shetland Shelf. Keep your eye on the posterior, or else in this place, for the benefit of future research.

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Originally published on Live Science.

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