Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

Chaetognatha




arrow worm
Arrow worm. Image credit: NOAA
A phylum of marine worm-like animals, not closely related to any other group with narrow bodies divided into head, trunk, and tail, also known as arrow worms. The trunk bears lateral fins. Larval chaetognathans are free-swimming; adults are planktonic or tube-dwellers.

Chaetognaths are between 3mm and 10cm (0.125–4 in) long, and have bristly jaws for seizing their prey (plankton). Although invertebrates, they swim like fish, by means of fins. They are hermaphrodite. Some species are useful indicator organisms because they are sensitive to the temperature, salinity, and depth of the water in which they live.


Related category

   • ZOOLOGY