Foot long venomous fireworm found at the beach

WildCreaturesPublished: January 30, 2018Updated: January 31, 20183,910 plays$4.04 earned
Published: January 30, 2018Updated: January 31, 2018

The Bearded Fireworm is a creature that grows to over a foot long and lives among coral, rock and sand at tropical beaches and on coral reefs. It can be found in the shallows or as deep as 120 feet. It has clusters of stinging bristles along its entire length that are capable of delivering a powerful neurotoxin to anyone who touches one. The sting will produce intense irritation, painful burning, nausea and dizziness. This can last for several hours. The hairs on the fireworm flare out when the worm is disturbed. The hairs are hollow and filled with venom. They penetrate the skin and break off upon contact.

These creatures can be found on most beaches throughout the Caribbean and even southern United States. They eat coral, shrimp, anemone, and small crustaceans. They comb through debris to locate uneaten particles of food and will occasionally eat feces from other creatures.

Surprisingly, fireworms are edible for fish and crabs.

Fireworms are more commonly found out of their burrows during the night, preferring to stay hidden during the day.

The fireworm is capable of reproducing sexually, but also by breaking into two segments. The segments will each grow a head or a tail, growing into new individuals. Fireworms are bioluminescent during sexual activity.

Scuba divers and underwater photographers are delighted to see the beautiful and unusual creatures but they avoid physical contact with them at all costs.

Fireworms are avoided by aquarium enthusiasts due to their hostility and voracious appetite for coral and other creatures.

Scientists do not actually know how long the fireworm can live as little research has been done on the creatures.

Aptly named, it is called a fireworm due to the intense burning they inflict.

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