This Friday we have a guest mystery object, supplied by the curator of the excellent Grant Museum of Zoology, Mark Carnall (the man who threatened the whole of humanity with the doomsday virus in Back from Extinction). Any idea what this fluid preserved specimen might be?
Given the general look of it and Mark’s history of terrormongery I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a body-snatching alien, if such things were in general circulation. If you’d like to see this critter from a different angle click here.
As usual, suggestions and questions below in the comments section and I’ll do what I can to point you in the right direction. Good luck!
Is it free living?
Great question! No it isn’t free living.
At first I thought it might have been some kind of tapeworm, but if its not that, I reckon it might be a Pentastomid then. But I couldn’t give you a better answer than that.
That’s a pretty fine answer in itself.
A google image search makes me think it might be a species of THE CORRECT GENUS.
Consenus at SmallCasserole Towers is that it is some sort of parasitical worm of the intestine, ribbed for extra pleasure
It is not a parasitic worm.
That isn’t to say that it isn’t parasitic – it just isn’t a worm…
More to the point, whose pleasure?!?
Is it something’s spine?
Not a spine
Is it some kind of burrowing grub?
Not a burrower and I think this is probably an adult.
Is it an embryo?
I’m pretty sure it’s an adult.
The lack of a scale bar is pretty cruel. Could be anything from half-an-inch to half-a-mile!
I was waiting for a scale related question! The specimen is about 8cm long.
Is it as it would naturally be seen? Or has anything been removed?
Obviously it wouldn’t naturally be seen in a jar, but I’m sure you know what I mean!
I don’t think anything has been removed.
Trying to decide from the alternate image, does it have some sort of cilia-type structures on its back?
Or am I imagining that?
Okay, ignore the question about cilia. I reckon I have this one.
So it seems to have a hard body, that at first I thought was segmented. So I was thinking arthropod. But I couldn’t actually see any clear segmentation. But certainly chitinous?
So it’s not free-living (good question first up to eliminate a lot of stuff), which suggests parasite. It’s not any kind of worm, in the truest sense. It’s an adult. And it’s in, broadly speaking, it’s natural form.
So is it a NEAR MISS? That seems to fit the bill. I don’t know the CORRECT GROUP in any greater detail than that, but I’ll venture that it was removed from a large snake (because I think that’s their most common host).
I’ll refine that to THE CORRECT ANSWER, after a quick spot of research.
If it wasn’t for the fact it put me off eating, I’d treat myself at lunch.
As you can see from my editing you have it! Excellent detective work David!
Coming in late, been musing. I shall await the answer on Monday with interest to find out what parasite lives inside something but is not a parasitic worm. Though I’m not entirely sure I want to know. The corkscrew shape did suggest something that burrowed.
Oh good grief, is it something that lies along the spine??
What a terrifying concept!
No – but that would be cool!
Oh gosh it is one of those isn’t it?