The Centimeter Tall, Thousand Worm Living Towers

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At some point during its early days, P.pacificus [a roundworm] pauses its growth and becomes a dauer — an especially tough larva that’s adapted to survive through harsh conditions. The dauers stand on their tails and wave their body about in the hopes of latching onto passing beetles.

But Sider Penkov and Akira Ogawa from the Max Planck Institutes found that groups of P.pacificus can merge to form a single waving “dauer tower”, composed of up to a thousand individuals.

Each individual worm is just a quarter of a millimetre long but the towers can grow up to a centimetre. Some are so big that you can see them with the naked eye and photograph them with a macro lens, even though their members are all microscopic.

Via National Geographic.
Video posted by Ed Yong on YouTube.

This entry was posted in Science, Videos by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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