Pigbutt Worm Facts
- The uniquely shaped and named Pigbutt Worm represents a recently discovered species of chaetopterid.
- In Latin, its scientific name literally translates as resembling a pig’s rear.
- Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute discovered this animal in 2006.
- Yet only a few individuals have been found, so very little definitive information is certain about this unique ocean creature.
- The few individual specimens found to date have all been extremely small.
- However, researchers point out that it remains too early to reach any conclusions about its size.
Pigbutt Worm Habitat, Physical Description, and Behavior
We must repeat that researchers still know very little about the rather surprising, yet aptly named Piggbut Worm at this point in time.
Each of the rather limited numbers of specimens examined so far measured between 04. – 0.8 (10 – 20 mm) in diameter.
This roughly equals the size of a hazelnut. However, it can not yet be reliably clear whether this is its larval or adult form.
While never observed in nature, the species displays bioluminescence when studied under laboratory conditions.
Species: C. pugaporcinus
Pigbutt Worm Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
It appears to inhabit a range of depth between 3,000-4,000 ft (900-1,200 m).
The worm also neither swims nor resides on the ocean floor. Rather, it remains suspended at this depth range.
It also seems to feed on the detritus that floats down from shallower depths. This it captures within a cloud of mucus it produces.
The Pigbutt Worm also possesses a highly inflated segmented body. To date, their method of reproduction also remains a mystery.