Glycera dibranchiataa name that surely means nothing to you, yet thissea worm is worth knowing. Not for its beauty, but rather for its nightmarish side. G.dibranchiata has a jaw adorned with four sharp, sharp hook-like fangs. The creature uses them to attach itself to its prey – it is and its body turns pale red after its meal, hence the English nickname ” bloodworm (blood worm in French) – and inject them with meant to kill them. The is said to be painful even to humans, but this sea worm prefers to feed on other worms, of or even birds.
Herbert Waite, biologist, studiesFor almost 20 years. ” They are very unpleasant worms in that they are moody and easily irritated. When they meet they fight using their jaws of like weapons “says the scientist. In his laboratory at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he is interested in the particular composition of the teeth of G.dibranchiata. Indeed, these are made up of a high copper content, and of . Where does this copper come from? From marine in which the worm buries itself and spends most of its time. A protein a set of complex reactions that cannot be reproduced in the laboratory to transfer copper from the environment to the fangs of G.dibranchiata. The terrible jaw of the worm is and resistant, it does not renew itself during its five years of life.