7 longest and largest worms in the world

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Worms are, as a rule, not exactly the “living creatures” that made to admire. There is something repulsive about them, which is why when meeting with such a “creeping reptile” I want to quickly go go home and wash your whole body with a hard washcloth. And if the worm it’s also very long, slimy and simply unlikely, then this desire increases many times.

At the same time, rainfall common in central Russia worms, even the longest and largest – babies compared to some especially large species. Typically, these creatures in “our latitudes” grow up to 20-30 centimeters – and their normal something is hindering development all the time. Either birds, then shovels, then fishermen. If left unattended and placed in nutrient soils – they are able to “swing” to a completely impressive size.

And about how large these invertebrates are, we will tell in this stuff. We collected seven of the longest and largest worms in the world! The ranking includes representatives of all three largest families, so an especially impressionable reader, not ready get acquainted with multimeter parasites in the intestines mammals, it is better to postpone prepared sandwiches.

Overview of the longest and largest worms in the world

Nomination a place name Length
Rating of the longest and largest worms in the world 1 Planaria Rimacephalus arecepta 1 meter
2 Australian giant earthworms 30 meter
3 Eunice aphroditois 6 meter
4 Placentonema gigantissima 8.5 meters
5 Bull tapeworm, he’s a tapeworm 10 meters
6 Wide ribbon 15 meters
7 Lineus longissimus 60 meters

7th place: Planaria Rimacephalus arecepta (Baikal, Russia, up to 1 meter)

Rating: 4.4

Planaria

Planaria – one of the simplest flatworms found in to the whole world. They live in reservoirs – they can be found in oceans, and in the seas, and even in freshwater rivers. In most cases they are not large, literally 2-3 centimeters, but living in Baikal, the species Rimacephalus arecepta is able to grow up to 1 meter in length!

Planaria are one of the simplest multicellular organisms. Essentially they they are a “crawling stomach”, like sea cucumbers. Oral the hole of these worms is on the belly – and during movement they scrape off even smaller invertebrates along the lake bottom. AND if planarians want to eat something bigger – it’s just push the throat out of the body and grab it. Digestive system the worm is incredibly “advanced” and has its own nerves and the muscles. If you extract it from the animal – it will be some more time to work and even try to catch prey.

Interestingly, the planaria Rimacephalus arecepta, like others representatives of the species are hermaphrodites, but they require sexual reproduction. That is, each worm can be like a male, and female, depending on the situation.

For the movement of the planarium, special cilia are used, which dotted their whole body. Therefore the worm can how free swim and crawl along the lake bottom. Thanks to the visual the animal is able to determine the top and organs by measuring them by level of illumination and a sense of balance.

Planaria Rimacephalus arecepta is not of interest to Baikal fish, because the skin of this animal is covered with poisonous glands. That is why worms quietly develop to relatively large sizes.

6th place: Australian giant earthworms (Australia, before 3 meters)

Rating: 4.5

Australian giant earthworms

Australian giant earthworms are a subspecies of ordinary earthworms, only living, as the name implies, on territory of Australia. There they calmly grow to impressive sizes – on average they are 80 centimeters in length, but maximum registered dimensions – 3 meters.

Australian giants differ from “our” earthworms also very noisy behavior. Moving in complicated, confusing underground channels, they make noisy sounds reminiscent of smacking or gurgling. According to these signals, researchers find these creatures. However, due to the fact that the species is among the vulnerable and recorded mainly in the Australian state Victoria, studying it is pretty hard.

Vulnerability of the position of the species is also stimulated by a change natural habitat. These giant earthworms prefer to settle on the clay coasts of reservoirs in the roots eucalyptus trees. The soil in these territories contains enough organic and nutrient for development invertebrates. That’s only in recent years, cutting down eucalyptus forest in Victoria has caused natural conditions habitats of the species are destroyed.

Australian giant earthworms just do not have time adapt to changes in living conditions. This is due to that they have one of the slowest ontogeny (“periods growing “) among invertebrates. Sexual maturity of these creatures reaches for 5 year. In general, the worm is among the centenarians, however, even approximate lifetimes are not possible establish due to the endemicity of the species.

5th place: Eunice aphroditois (oceans, up to 6 meters)

Rating: 4.6

Eunice aphroditois

Eunice aphroditois – one of the largest polychaete worms that live in the oceans. It is predatory and, frankly saying, a very unlikely animal (primarily because forms of the oral apparatus) can grow to a length of 6 meters! True, the vast majority of instances seem to be shorter, but this is not very encouraging.

Of particular interest is the way of hunting (and at the same time life) of this polychaete worm. Eunice aphroditois tears deep holes, where it is located almost entirely. Only invertebrate head sticks out above the bottom surface. When a fish swims past, a worm straightens with a sharp movement, grabs her with hooked jaws and starts the meal. Eunice aphroditois can wait for a suitable dinner a very long time – studies show that the creature is capable of live without food for a year!

However, Eunice aphroditois is not picky about food. If the fish are past do not swim – it can well feed on detritus: organic the remains of flora and fauna that “snow” sink to the seabed and are actually a mixture of decomposed water bodies animals, as well as leftovers from dinners floating near the surface predators.

Like many other polychaete annelids, Eunice aphroditois has a rather interesting internal structure. Each of its body segments has its own duplicate set. organs. Therefore, if for some reason the animal loses a piece body – but at least half – it will survive anyway.

4th place: Placentonema gigantissima (oceans, up to 8.5 meters)

Rating: 4.7

Placentonema gigantissima

And here are the parasitic worms. If the previous species are in the ranking quite calmly survive in the wild – in clay soils Australia, on the fresh bottom of Lake Baikal or in salt waters of the entire oceans – Placentonema gigantissima lives only in the internal organs of whales. Moreover, these helminths do not infect only intestines and liver. Studies have shown that Placentonema gigantissima can develop even in the placenta.

Parasitizing on whales (in particular, this species especially likes sperm whales), Placentonema gigantissima can grow to true giant sizes, as reflected in its name. So, the largest registered specimen was 8.5 meters!

Placentonema gigantissima is a roundworm, they same “nematodes”. Almost all species from this group are parasites. They infect mammals, and insects, and even others invertebrates. In humans, nematodes cause trichinosis, ascariasis and a huge number of other diseases. Among these ringed worms are found and plant parasites.

Thus, roundworms are one of the largest groups parasitic invertebrates on the planet. Therefore nothing surprising in the fact that they got to the cetaceans no mammals.

Moreover, referring to roundworms, Placentonema gigantissima have a non-segmented body. Why just tear it up or split up without mortal danger to existence they don’t can. Unlike another parasite following the ranking, and developing including in the human body.

3rd place: Bull tapeworm, he is a tapeworm (whole world, up to 10 meters)

Rating: 4.8

Bull

Bull tapeworm (tapeworm) is one of the most dangerous human parasites and cattle. Most widespread in Africa, South America, as well as in some Eastern European countries. At the absence of attempts to get rid of it can grow up to 10 meters in length – thereby significantly exceeding the linear dimensions host organism.

Bull tapeworm, like many other parasites, survives three developmental stages. The first is the egg. They are excreted from the host. together with feces and remain on the grass. Then these plants eaten by cattle, primarily by cows (as a result of which the invertebrate got its name). IN the body of these mammals bovine tapeworm passes larval stage.

Larvae remain in the muscles of the animal. That is why there is unroasted meat steaks of unknown origin quite dangerous. Together with the muscles, the bovine tapeworm penetrates into the organism of the final carrier is the human being. Here he goes to the tape stage, starting to grow and develop.

In the human body, bovine tapeworm grows to significant sizes. The body of an adult worm consists of 2-5 thousand segments. A tapeworm is able to live up to 20 years! Adult parasite has an average length from 4 to 10 meters.

Despite the fact that bull tapeworm, like many other tape worms, needs sexual reproduction, he is a hermaphrodite. Separate segments can fertilize each other. That’s why the worm able to produce up to 600 million eggs annually.

The disease caused by tapeworm is called teniarinhoz. It characterized by cramping abdominal pains that appear due to worm mobility, increased appetite, as well as depressing action on the psyche of the carrier.

2nd place: Wide ribbon (the whole world, up to 15 meters)

Rating: 4.9

Wide Ribbon

Wide Ribbon – another tapeworm that is a parasite person. It enters the body along with poorly cooked fish, thereby determining the risk of eating poorly cooked seafood (including sushi and other Japanese dishes). After penetration into a person a wide ribbon is attached to a thin intestines, where it begins to develop, reaching maximum length at 15 meters. Although, however, most individuals are 2-3 times shorter. But this is not very encouraging media.

The wide ribbon is characterized by a long and multi-stage life cycle. Worm eggs, as in the case of bull tapeworm, enter the water along with feces from the host organism. IN fluids they turn into a larva-coracidium. She swims freely in water until it meets the first carrier.

The first carrier are tiny copepods. In them The procercoid larva is based in body cavities and quietly waits until this arthropod will not be eaten by fish. So the worm gets into second carrier. In fish, it turns into a plerocercoid larva, which is fixed in muscle tissue.

From poorly processed fish, the plerocercoid larva enters human organism. Here it is fixed in the small intestine, where begins to develop into an adult worm.

A disease caused by a broad ribbon is called diphyllobothriasis. It is widespread even in the territory Russian Federation, but localized primarily in basins various rivers – Volga, Yenisei, Ob and so on. Also found in Murmansk and Leningrad regions. In humans, the worm is able to live up to 20 years.

Infection leads to an uncomfortable state, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, drowsiness. Worm affects the neuropsychological system. For example, he doesn’t like spicy and salty foods – and therefore, if the carrier person eat such dishes, he will experience discomfort.

1st place: Lineus longissimus (Northern Europe, up to 60 meters)

Rating: 5.0

Lineus longissimus

Lineus longissimus – the longest worm in the world and at the same time the most the longest animal on the planet – can reach sizes of 60 meters! However, the vast majority of these creatures several times in short.

The worm lives in the coastal zone of northern waters. Easiest him meet in the Baltic states, in the British Isles, in Norway. IN In Russia, he lives in the Baltic Sea. Externally Lineus longissimus looks like an ordinary earthworm.

Despite its impressive length, the Lineus longissimus is quite thin worm. Even the largest representatives have no body diameter exceeds 10 mm. Like other nemerthins, it rarely extends in full dimensions, and therefore it is easier to meet in minimized condition.

It is clear that on algae to grow to such a size very complicated. Therefore, Lineus longissimus is a predator. He moves around the seabed and preys on small invertebrates, capturing them trunk – a special moving tentacle in the oral cavity. If a it didn’t work out for the fauna, Lineus longissimus can also be carrion have lunch.


Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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