What is the Longest Animal in the World?

Filed under: Animals |
Bootlace Worm

Bootlace Worm (Lineus Longissimus)

It was not bluewhale or anaconda which is the longest animal in the world. But the longest animal in the world is a worm. This is a bootlace worm (Lineus Longissimus). Its length can reach 60 meters (200 ft), which is longer than an adult blue whale.   The diameter of the worm’s body is only 5 to 10 millimeters.

Bootlace worm, known also as ribbon worms, are classified into phylum Nemertea. This worm is commonly found from Iceland eastwards to the Atlantic and North Sea coasts of Europe. This worm has body color varies from dark brown to blackish color. Their habitat to live is under the rocks above the sandy beach.

Unlike the earthworm, bootlace worm is nonsegmented worm.  Its blood circulation is moved by its muscle because bootlace worm does not have a heart to pump the blood.  Bootlace worm is a single sex worm, means that every bootlace can lay eggs and fertilize them by itself.  Bootlace is able to reproduce by another way, it can break their body apart and each part will regenerate a  bootlace individu.  Bootlace could break apart its body very easy, because it is very fragile.

Ribbon Worms
Bootlace worm, known also as ribbon worms
This image brought to you by Gwylan

Actually, there are two types of bootlace worm.  One type has armed proboscis (proboscis is a tube they use to get prey, defence and burrowing into ground) and another type has unarmed proboscis.  Every proboscis could release toxins to their prey and get the prey to them.  Bootlace is differ from other worms, they are carnivorous, bootlace eat for other invertebrates, such as crustaceans, moluscs and sometimes they eat algae.  To get its prey, bootlace worm can use its proboscis or wrapping its body around the prey.
They move during the nights.  They mostly spend the days by hiding from the sun, beneath rocks, corals or even leaves.

It is obviously, this worm has a flexible body, these worms can increase the body length. So, if you find this worm with a body length of 60 meters, that means the body length of these worms can be much longer than that, if he stretched. Bootlace worm is difficult to pick up, because it will exude large amounts of mucus when handled, which has a faint pungent smell.

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12 Responses to What is the Longest Animal in the World?

  1. Dear Phinos,
    Please do not embed my copyrighted images into your website…
    I have no objection to you using the image… however, the done thing is to link the image using the code provided on the Flickr site, so that users may refer to the original web page…
    Please use this method in future. Thank you for your cooperation.

    sion roberts
    March 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    RE: http://forquestions.com/what-is-the-longest-animal-in-the-world/236/comment-page-1#comment-159
    Dear Sir,
    I see from your disclaimer that my image is now the property of forquestions.com.
    I do not allow my work to be used in this way.
    You, forquestions.com, are in breach of the Copyrights Designs & Patents Act 1988.
    I do not relinquish my rights under the Act.

    You will remove my work from your web page.

    I trust this will be done in good time, and that I shall have no need to pursue this matter further.

    Thank you for your cooperation
    Sion Roberts

    sion roberts
    March 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm

  3. Hi Sion,

    I apologize for the use of your work without asking for your consent first. through this media comment, I ask permission to be able to use your image work. please contact me, can I still use your picture?


    March 18, 2011 at 9:46 am

  4. I hope Sion says no. It’s just childish to take someone’s property, and not even bother asking if you can use it until AFTER they catch you.

    March 20, 2011 at 8:37 am

  5. Speaking strictly, Phinos shouldn’t have used the picture without consent,


    It’s only a picture!…about a worm! Don’t be so self-centered and make a big fuss about it by bringing in the Act. This website is not abusing your picture in any way. Get out of your little personal bubble and chill.

    – NYU Biologist –

    May 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm

  6. Interesting discussion. Phinos aren’t totally correct nor wrong. iI did see few articles in this website and he always included backlink to the source of the articles. It possible that he took the picture from search engine and he didn’t even know where are the source. For Sion.. your work are splendid, and it’s not easy. gives the watermark is a good thing. however both of u had done a good contribution for our community.

    - Dr Vijay Gustaf

    June 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm

  7. All wll b well

    May 14, 2012 at 11:55 am

  8. @Archaefructus: it is not your place to decide what is worth asking permission for and what is not. Should a criminal get a lower sentence because he killed an objective bastard without friend/family? And what do you mean exactly by “It’s only a picture!…about a worm!”? Would it be more important if it was the picture of an eagle? For a “NUY Biologist”, you seem pretty unfamiliar with the importance of such creatures, maybe you should think about a different career, maybe a career where your uninformed decision-taking process would be imposed to the world. How about Federal Judge?

    July 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  9. i still can’t believe these.

    adedeji babatunde
    August 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm

  10. All of u suck

    August 30, 2012 at 1:48 am

  11. I agree

    September 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm

  12. Give the photographer a break. Do you know how hard it is to make a living with liberal arts degree?

    December 6, 2012 at 2:02 am

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