Purl Diver Collection Fire and Water

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This picture of a fireworm was taken in the Cayman Islands while diving with my son Dan. The fireworm is a type of marine bristle worm native to the tropical Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, and Mediterranean Seas. It looks like a centipede  with its elongated and flattened appearance. It can have up to 150 segments with what look like pretty white silks protruding out of each segment side. These are actually clusters of stinging white bristles that pack quite a wallop. they also have gills clustered about each tuft of bristles and on top of its head.  When approached they flare out the bristles as a warning, making for an even more dramatic picture. They are voracious predators that feed on soft and hard corals. You can see in this picture how they remove the coral tissue leaving just the white skeleton. From experience I know, DO NOT TOUCH THIS CREATURE it is truly -   fire in water

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