A Texas resident caught a sea monster with poisonous spikes: what kind of creature is it
While fishing on the pier, Texas resident Alyssa Ramirez decided that a lump of algae was entangled in her nets. Pulling it out, the girl saw that the lump was wriggling - she caught a strange sea creature, which - as it turned out later - was very dangerous, writes USA Today.
“Mom and I looked at each other in bewilderment,” Ramirez said. “I laughed because it was definitely not a fish.”
Ramirez became curious about what kind of creature it was, the girl shot it on video and sent it to the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. She asked officials to identify what she caught. They answered her: it turned out that Ramirez was very lucky, because she did not touch this sea creature.
Turns out it was a fiery bristle worm that could exude powerful neurotoxin from its tiny bristles on its sides. When a person touches the bristles, wounds can occur that create a strong burning sensation, as if from fire, and this pain can last for hours.
“Fortunately, I didn’t have to touch it because it let go of my bait,” Ramirez said. From the way it moved and the red color, I knew that it should not be touched. Its red-tipped spikes looked rather dangerous. "I laid it on the railing of the pier, took videos and photographs ... It spun for several minutes, and then it fell into the water."
Aposematism is the protective devices that nature gives animals so that they can make it clear to predators: eating this animal is dangerous. In this case, indicators of aposematism are bright colors and toxic tentacles.
As a rule, a fiery bristle worm reaches a size of no more than a few inches in length, but one touch can be a big problem for both a person and another creature.
A fiery bristle worm is found in warm, shallow waters in and around the Atlantic Ocean, including in the Gulf of Mexico. It looks like a big fluffy caterpillar. His body can be green, orange or other bright colors, and small bunches of white bristles cover its sides, creating a "fuzzy" look.
This creature was “a good 3 inches (over 7,6 cm) long,” Ramirez said, and she clearly liked the amazing sea find. Fortunately, the strange sea creature was not the only thing that Ramirez and her mother caught that day: they also managed to draw several not so exciting, but quite safe fish into the net.
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