Uncover the Most Extraordinary Christmas Trees on the Planet!
These brilliantly colored living organisms are actually underwater worms in the shape of Christmas trees. The tree shape of the worm comes from its gills. When the Christmas Tree Worm senses danger is near, it quickly pulls in its gills and hides in its tube secured within its host coral.
Warm greetings to you and let me wish you Happy Holidays! 2021 has been another very challenging year for each of us. However, here’s some very interesting and uplifting news, which I think you’ll find pretty cool, especially since you and I are in the heart of the Holiday Season.
Did you know there is a living organism in the ocean called a Christmas Tree Worm? Well – there sure is! Scientists first discovered the Christmas Tree Worm and its beauty in 1766. The awesome looking tree top crown also comes in a variety of fantastic colors. Just about any color you can think of. And even more interesting, you can only see the worm’s crown, which happens to be visible in the beautiful shape of a Christmas tree! Christmas Tree worms are not very big at all. In fact, they only average about 1.5 inches in length. But I’m sure you’ll agree, they sure know how to throw out some truly magnificent colors!
The Christmas Tree Worm’s body is hidden within the host coral where it lives. You can usually find several Christmas Tree Worms living in the same area. That’s right – they’re basically sedentary, much like the celebrated Christmas tree, once it is up and decorated! Interestingly, the Christmas Tree Worm doesn’t like to move around much, and it prefers to stay in the shaded area of any rocky seascape, out of the sun’s bright rays angling down into the water.
Each worm has two bright colored crowns, which extend up from its tube-shaped body. And their Christmas tree crowns are actually made of radioles(hair-like appendages growing from the worm’s central spine). The Christmas Tree Worm uses these appendages to catch its food, which mainly consists of microscopic plants, or phytoplankton, which floats about in the water.
If something swimming nearby startles a Christmas Tree Worm, it quickly disappears into its coral burrow, hiding from any approaching predator. According to a recent study, Christmas Tree Worms “may live for a decade or more (some for more than 40 years), based on counting the annual growth bands in the coral skeleton overlaying polychaete tubes.”
And researchers discovered the Christmas tree worm might actually protect certain types of corals from bleaching.
If you are in Florida and you see a sick or injured manatee, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee