Instagram post by @nhmla Natural History Museum of LA

Have you ever seen a polychaete (pronounced poly-keet)?⠀

Polychaetes are fascinating and colorful worms, nearly all of which live in the ocean. They can be found in every habitat in the sea, from tidepools to the deepest ocean floor. Many are found in the sand and mud, but some spend their whole lives swimming in the open water.⠀

This particular worm from the NHMLA Polychaete Collections is Syllis stewarti. It was first described in 1942 but has rarely been seen since. But NHMLA Polychaete Collections Manager Leslie Harris found some on a vertical rock in the upper tide pools of Friday Harbor, Washington!

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