Story: Marine animals without backbones

Spoon worm

Spoon worm

Looking very much like an uncooked sausage, Urechis novaezelandiae is a burrowing animal, usually found in sand and mud in shallow waters. At one end of its body it has a scoop-shaped proboscis. This secretes lots of sticky mucus, which the spoon worm smears over its burrow walls and stretches out to make a net. When the net is loaded with trapped food particles the worm moves up its burrow and swallows the net and its contents.

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NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
Photograph by Geoff Read

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How to cite this page:

Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, 'Marine animals without backbones - Advanced worms', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006