26 February 2012

The sandcastle worm (Phragmatopoma californica)

Also called a black-bristled honeycomb worm, the sandcastle worm lives in colonies of self-made tubes. These tubes are made by “gluing” sand particles together. The sandcastle worm creates the “glue” in an lightly acidic environment. Once secreted into the alkaline seawater, it becomes a very strong adhesive. The sandcastle worm assembles a tube using the fine sand on the sea bottom. Those tubes are then bound together in colonies. Imagine if we could use this technique in the medical field; a spiral fracture wouldn´t be such bad news!

by mikaela grassl

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