Serpulid Worm - Serpula Species

Like the sabellid worms, serpulids have developed an ornate feeding mechanism, which looks like a feather duster. Serpulids, however, have an added defense mechanism - the trumpet or cone shaped part of the plume is a protective hatch which closes behind when it withdraws into its tube. This acts as a barrier from a persistent predator. This, coupled with a hard calcium tube, keeps this worm well equipped to live in exposed locations. The small hairs, on each branch of the feeding plume, act as a conveyor belt constantly moving food into the center where its mouth is.