Way of life

More about the lugworm

Lugworm excrement

Way of life

The lugworm normally lives dug down in the sand in shallow water areas, where piles of excrement composed mainly of sand reveals its presence. A lugworm that finds itself above the bottom sediment has to dig downwards from its present position because of its inability to creep along the bottom. The lugworm has the ability to swim, but this is achieved in a backward direction. Digging itself down is accomplished in between 2-6 minutes depending on how saturated the sand is, the higher the saturation, the quicker it digs. Whilst digging, the lugworm secretes a mucus. The slender fore end is used to bore downwards, where body fluids are pressed to cause a swelling that results in an anchor, thus enabling the lugworm, with its muscles, to pulll the rest of its body down deeper into the hole. During the winter, the lugworm is usually found deeper in the sand compared with during the summer and is capable of sitting in its hole for up to 8 months. The lugworm even has the ability to survive in frozen sand for up to a month.

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