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This Hammerhead Worm Turns its Prey Into Liquid, Know More About Unique Creature

By: Buzz Staff

Local News Desk

Last Updated: December 07, 2022, 11:30 IST

Delhi, India

The back part of the mouth stretches forward to form a sheet that clamps around the victim.

The back part of the mouth stretches forward to form a sheet that clamps around the victim.

This worm looks almost like an earthworm in appearance but is defined by the absence of the ring-like segments found all over an earthworm’s body.

The wide variety of living organisms that the different ecosystems of the earth never ceases to amaze us. There are organisms on the planet that will surprise you with either their unique, shapes, characteristics or traits. One among them is the hammerhead worm. This worm looks almost like an earthworm in appearance but is defined by the absence of the ring-like segments found all over an earthworm’s body.

However, while the earthworm is harmless and even considered beneficial in the form of creating manure for plants, the hammerhead worm is predatory and is dangerous. What sets it apart though is the scary nature in which it hunts its prey. These slimy and watery organism does not ‘eat’ their prey but rather ‘drinks’ it. It is known for its attack mechanism of turning the solid body of its prey into liquid form and then drinking it.

The worm finds its prey with the use of sensory organs on the underside of its distinctive hammer-shaped head, which it then pins down with its head and body. Halfway down its body, the predator’s mouth opens wide. The back part of the mouth stretches forward to form a sheet that clamps around the victim.

Digestive enzymes are released, converting the body into a delectable soup that the predator subsequently sucks up. Another weird fact about the hammerhead worm is that its mouth is also its anus, which means any indigested food is secreted out by the mouth itself.

Although it is morally wrong to kill any organism, experts believe that the hammerhead worm is harmful to the environment since it preys on other worms that are beneficial for trees, plants and agricultural manure, and hence recommend killing it on sight.

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first published:December 07, 2022, 11:30 IST
last updated:December 07, 2022, 11:30 IST
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