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Fireworm Bristles

Fireworm Setae
Jasper Nance / Nikon Small World

No, this isn't a bundle of paintbrushes: you're looking at a fireworm (Amphinomidae), a type of polychaete or bristly marine worm. The hairlike bristles, called setae, are hollow and contain venom. The name "fireworm" refers to the burning sensation caused when the bristles pierce your skin. This image, taken at 40x zoom, was an image of distinction in the 2008 Nikon Small World photomicrography contest.