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The worm under investigation on this website is Riftia pachyptila it was discovered in 1969. It exists deep in the ocean near hydrothermal vents. It can grow to over 2 meters. It is a worm with no mouth, no guts, and no anus.  There is much debate to who to classify this guy. The taxonomic status is still being determined. According to the Intigrated Taxonomic Information System it is classified as such:

Domain                                Eukaryota
    Kingdom                          Animalia
        Phylum                        Annelida
            Class                       Pogonophora
                Order                   Riftiida
                    Family              Rifiidae
                        Genus          Riftia
                            Species    Riftia pachyptila



Click on the thumbnail below to veiw my taxonomic tree.

Riftia has four body regions: the plume, the vestimentum, the coelomic cavity, and the trophosome.


The plume serves to diffuse nutrients and waste in and out of the worm with the outside environment. The vestimentum helps to anchor the upper portion of the worm in the tube. It provides a safe passage for the blood heading from the plume to the trophosome. The vestimentum also generates new tube material, holds reproductive pores, and houses the heart and brain(8).The trophosome is a special organ which houses the symbiotic bacteria where the tubeworm gets its nutrients. The coelomic cavity allows for the development of organs. One more important structure is the opisthosome which has some segmentation. As far as I'm aware this is the only connection that links this guy to the phylum annelida; everything else seem to be debatable depending on what scientific camp you're in.

Riftia pachyptila is super cool because in essence it doesn't need food and doesn't poo. What could make for a better pet?

Disclaimer: This site is full of geeky scientific jargon and pictures, if you get bored I will not be held responsible. Please Enjoy!

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