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Chaetognatha is a phylum of predatory marine worms that are a major component of plankton worldwide. About 20% of the known species are benthic and can attach to algae or rocks. They are found in all marine waters from surface tropical waters and shallow tide pools to the deep sea and polar regions. Most chaetognaths are transparent and are torpedo shaped. Some deep-sea species are orange. They range in size from 2 mm to 12 cm. The common term for the phylum is Arrow Worms. There are more than 120 modern species assigned to over 20 genera. Despite the limited diversity of species, the number of individuals is staggering.




Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed., vol. 5) (New York, NY: The Encyclopaedia Britannica Company, 1910)


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