As my "live rock" has
matured in my tank, many creatures have appeared which were too
small to see originally. Here are some "baby"
"feather dusters". These are worms which create fans to
collect food as it floats by. One such fan is clearly visible in
the upper left part of the picture; another is just barely
visible in the lower right. The white tubes are the hard casings
in which the worms live and hide when disturbed. I now have
perhaps 20 of these, scattered all over the tank, and of various
This one is much easier to see.
The tube is less than 1mm in diameter; the fan is perhaps 1/4
I purchased a small Horseshoe
Crab. He is cute, but clutzy, always getting stuck in various
places, or lying on his back, kicking and trying to right
himself. It is hard to believe that he can survive at all, he is
so clumsy, but given that they've been around for hundreds of
millions of years, I guess he represents a reasonably decent
design. His tail, which at first sight seems to be ornamental, is
essential for righting himself when he is caught on his back. He
likes to bury himself in the sand, disappearing for days at a
time. The dark spot on the top of his carapace is an eye.
Here he is, trying to do his disappearing act.
This Hairy Mushroom Coral has
expelled its "guts". This happens when the coral is
disturbed, and usually the "guts" are drawn back in
within a few minutes, and life proceeds without further incident.
Here are all of the Hairy
Mushroom Corals, all bunched up in "purses". They do
this when they trap food as it passes by (or when I happen to
drop little bits of shrimp onto them).
A closeup of the "knot" at the entrance to the purse.