What is a se mouse, what does it look like? What does sea mouse eat? Definition and characteristics of sea mouse. Information and facts of sea mouse.
Sea Mouse; any of about 26 species of marine worms making up the genus Aphrodite. Closely related to bloodworms, feather dusters, and sandworms, sea mice are found throughout the world, generally occurring in subintertidal depths to 600 meters or more on mud, rock, or coralline bottoms.
The body of the sea mouse is covered by a dense layer of parapodia and setae (hair-like structures). Adults generally fall within a size range of 7.5 to 15 centimeters (3.0 to 5.9 inches), but some grow up to 30 centimeters (12 inches). The sea mouse has two pairs of probe-like appendages near its mouth and does not have eyes. Locomotion is carried out by several small, bristly, paddle-shaped appendages. They are hermaphrodites, which means that they have functional reproductive organs of both sexes. The eggs of one individual are fertilized by the sperm of another.
These rather broad worms are named sea mice because of their oval shape, convex above and flat below, and their creeping or wriggling movement. In the sea mouse, the aorsal or upper surface is iridescent, the sides have brilliant prismatic colors, and the ventral or lower surface is pale flesh-colored or roughened by many small papillae. The bright colors are due to diffraction of light through the mass of hairlike felt and setae that cover the body. The felt protects the underlying soft parts of the body and conceals the 15 pairs of scales, or elytra, that cover the back of the worm.
Sea mice range in size from a fraction of an inch to about 8 inches (20 cm). They have 35 to 40 body segments, indicated by serially arranged thick needle-shaped spines directed laterally. The head, a small lobe at the anterior end, is usually concealed except for a pair of long slender palpi, or feelers. The mouth leads through a spacious buccal cavity to a cylindrical, muscular proboscis with four jaws and then extends to an alimentary tract that has complex pinnately divided diverticula. The anus is posterior.