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Meet the tiny "bomber" worm that uses glowing decoys to escape predators

Illustration for article titled Meet the tiny bomber worm that uses glowing decoys to escape predators

This awesome photo is of a newly discovered deep sea worm, Swima fulgida. Measuring just over an inch long, this little guy lives 9,000 feet underwater and escapes predators by flinging homemade "bombs" at its enemies.

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This is one of two new species discovered by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The creature uses its tiny bristles to swim through the water. Like many deep-sea organisms, it's bioluminescent, but not completely - you can see a tiny black patch near its mouth. That area is actually the worm's gut, and the researchers suspect that it's meant to hide the sight of its own bioluminescent prey being digested.

Illustration for article titled Meet the tiny bomber worm that uses glowing decoys to escape predators
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These worms also have to worry about larger predators, and it possesses a pretty awesomely ingenious escape mechanism. When a predator approaches, the worm will drop one of its "bombs", which are those tiny green structures just behind its head on the photo on the left. Somewhat disappointingly, these bombs don't actually explode - they simply glow for a few seconds after being detached from the rest of the worm. That sight, however, is enough to keep the predator distracted long enough for the worm to make a hasty retreat.

For some more beautiful photos of the newly discovered species, check out the BBC.

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There's no photo on the left. #corrections