Mint sauce worm! That sounds weird right? Mint sauce and worm don’t really go together. One reminds of food and the other is just worm – something you naturally try to avoid. However, this unique worm has come into focus because of its unique ability to blur the line between flora and fauna. In this article titled 30 interesting mint sauce worm facts, we will learn something truly interesting about this unique creation of nature. In case you are not ready, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit back, relax and read. You will find this list of facts interesting!
Interesting Mint Sauce Worm Facts: 1-10
1. The mint sauce worm also goes by the name plant-animal. Its scientific name is Symsagittifera roscoffensis.
2. Previously, a different scientific name was used for this worm. The previous name was Convoluta roscoffensis.
3. The worm is actually a flatworm but is very small and barely grows up to 3 mm in length.
4. The reason why this marine flatworm is known by the bizarre name is because of its bright green color.
5. Interestingly, this worm is not really green. In fact, the worm is actually clear or transparent. The bright green color comes from the green algae that lives inside its body.
6. The worm and the algae share a symbiotic relationship with one another. For the algae, the body of the worm works as a home and shelter.
7. For the worm, the algae act as the source of all the nutrients it needs to survive.
8. What really happens is that the worm thrives on the byproducts the algae produce using photosynthesis. So, it turns out that the worm actually survives using photosynthesis.
9. Thus essentially, the mint sauce worm survives solely on the power of the sun. It is a solar-powered life form but the only difference is that it belongs to the animal kingdom and not the plant kingdom.
10. This worm is mostly found in sheltered sand beaches where waters are shallow. They are most commonly found in different sites of Atlantic Coast and are commonly found at Channel Islands and coasts of Wales.
Interesting Mint Sauce Worm Facts: 11-20
11. The mint sauce worm of the plant-animal worm is known for sunbathing on the beaches. This happens when the tides ebb away.
12. When the tides come back, covering the beaches with sea water, the worms simply dig into the sand and bury themselves until the tides are gone.
13. Mint sauce worm is not just unique because of its hybrid nature. Its uniqueness also comes from its social behavior.
14. Researchers from UK’s University of Bristol have conducted a study to find out how they behave socially and came up with some interesting finds. According to the study, the worms exhibit coordinated movements through interaction with each other.
15. Plain and simple, these marine flatworms actually form a super-organism by coming together in groups.
16. When they swim, they actually come along with each other and begin working together. They first start by swimming in polarized groups that are small.
17. As more and more worms come into the group and the worm density increases, they form what is known as flotillas.
18. From flotillas they form circular mills. According to the research, the circular films eventually lead to what looks like mat-like biofilms that are often found on various sandy beaches.
19. According to the researchers of the study, this social behavior helps the worms to achieve safety. Simply put, the worms are very small and in large numbers, they manage to generate the right conditions that can help them to survive.
20. When the mint sauce worms form super-organisms, they attain the ability to cling on to various areas where it is literally impossible for seaweed to gather and anchor.
Interesting Mint Sauce Worm Facts: 21-30
21. Researchers actually made use of computer simulations to understand the social behavior of the worms and found that the group formation is not just a random chance but is rather a more frequent phenomenon.
22. In the study it was found that worms actually swim in circular films by clinging on to each other from nose to tail.
23. Researchers also believe that these marine flatworms actually control the amount of sunlight their symbiotic gut algae are exposed to by the formation of large super-organisms.
24. One of the primary reasons for regulating the amount of sunlight the algae are exposed to is that the individual worms may crawl up in intense light that can actually damage their gut algae and threaten their existence.
25. When they form circular films for swimming, individuals remain extremely synchronized and follow each other nose-to-tail forming complete rings.
26. When they follow this almost circular trajectory, they can actually form multiple nested orbits.
27. When the mint sauce worms get along to form super-organism, they show three transition phase: (a) individuals, (b) small groups and circular mills and (c) biofilm or mats.
28. There are many other species that actually exhibit one or the other transition phase but this marine flatworm species is one of the very few that exhibits all the three transition phases.
29. The team of researchers headed by Professor Nigel Franks from University of Bristol found that the worms almost always rotate in clockwise direction when they form circular films.
30. It is not that the mint sauce worm is new. In fact, biology has been eyeing on this worm for long, specifically when it comes to the area of stem cell regeneration. However, the focus of this study was entirely on understanding how the worms interact and behave socially.