Princess-of-Troy worms

This group of worms (Family Hesionidae) was named after Hesione, Princess of Troy, who according to Greek mythology was rescued from a sea monster by Hercules. Typically, these dainty, fragile worms fragment and lose their long tentacular and dorsal cirri (finger-like projections) during collection. Some species are known to free spawn, others are hermaphroditic, still others are reported to have copulatory organs for transfer of sperm. Larvae of some species are known to remain in the plankton for several months. Surprisingly, some family members thrive in polluted, especially oxygen-deficient, environments. The methane iceworm, Sirsoe methanicola (not to be confused with the oligochaete species of snow and glacier iceworms), was discovered associated with icy cold methane seeps of energy-rich gas deposits on the Gulf of Mexico sea floor at 550 m (1,805 ft).

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