Puzzle: Christmas Tree Worms

Christmas Tree Worms, medSize:  1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Jewels of the Sea series, 2009, 40675-4

Puzzle: This puzzle is not trivial to do, as even though there are distinct colours, they are scattered in many small regions. Very enjoyable nonetheless, with SureLox pieces fitting together unmistakably. Easiest place to start, I found, is the bottom green/turquoise/olive patch at the bottom with the adjacent white patches. The darker background in the top right corner is also relatively simple to complete. For the rest of the puzzle, it does not really make a difference which spirals to work on – they all slowly come together to complete the picture.

Notes: Spirobranchus giganteus, commonly known as Christmas tree worms, are tube-building polychaete worms belonging to the family Serpulidae. The worm is aptly named; both its common and Latin names refer to the two chromatically hued spiral structures, the most common feature seen by divers. Actually, the multicolored spirals are merely the worm’s highly derived respiratory structures.

The worms’ most distinct features are two “crowns” shaped like Christmas trees. These are highly modified prostomial palps, which are specialized mouth appendages. Each spiral is composed of feather-like tentacles called radioles, which are heavily ciliated and cause any prey trapped in them to be transported to the worm’s mouth. While they are primarily feeding structures, S. giganteus also uses its radioles for respiration; hence, the structures commonly are called “gills.” [Wiki]

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