Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: Some effects of oxygen deprivation on Cirriformia spirabrancha (Moore, 1904)
Student Author(s): Findly, R. Craig
Faculty Advisor(s): Epel, David
%E Pearse, J.
Pages: 9
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1968
Keywords: Polychaete worm
Abstract: The cirratulid polychaete, Cirriformia spirabrancha, was found to tolerate anaerobiosis up to 48 hours. However, the biological advantage for the organism of anaerobiosis is approximately 24 hours. Longer regimes leave the animal moribund and subject to environmental activities such as wave action which would disintegrate the worm before recovery from anoxia. The length of the tentacles and body increases as oxygen tension is lowered, but once anaerobic conditions are reached the tentacles contract and coil tightly, while the body remains elongate. Cyanide, for reasons still unknown, is fatal within 20 hours. Whether carbohydrates, which comprise 0.97% of the dry body weight, are utilized during anaerobiosis is still unknown.