Feel free to leave the up-close-and-personal inspections to the marine biologists and instead, enjoy the stunning visual spectacle of the noble Christmas Tree Worm from the comfort of your couch or computer chair. Even on an LCD screen, their oft-brilliant colors and delicate structures stand as a gorgeous testament to a half-billion years worth of evolutionary fine-tuning. (Image via Flickr member Ian Armstrong)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentle Worms
Christmas Tree Worms are not considered to be a threatened species, although environmental degradation and increasing ocean temperatures and acidity loom as chronic threats to the world’s coral reefs. “Safety in numbers”, as the old expression goes, applies in their case. The global spread of these exquisite creatures will help ensure they’ll be around for us to appreciate for many, many Christmases to come! (Image via Flickr member David)
All images in this article have been graciously made available by the individually-attributed photographers under a Creative Commons international license.