The anterior end of a chemosynthetic siboglinid tubeworm, Lamellibrachia sp., protrudes from its tube. The red “feathers” are respiratory tentacles filled with hemoglobin-containing “blood.” The white structure is called an obturaculum and functions as a trapdoor that protects the opening  when the worm withdraws into its tube. Brown branched hydroid colonies grow on the tube.

The anterior end of a chemosynthetic siboglinid tubeworm, Lamellibrachia sp., protrudes from its tube. The red “feathers” are respiratory tentacles filled with hemoglobin-containing “blood.” The white structure is called an obturaculum and functions as a trapdoor that protects the opening when the worm withdraws into its tube. Brown branched hydroid colonies grow on the tube. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Gulf of Mexico 2017.

Download larger version (jpg, 757 KB)

 

Related Links

Daily Updates: December 13

Gulf of Mexico 2017

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer