A Strange Creature – The Hammerhead Worm
Primitive hammerhead worms have a single opening serves both as a mouth and anus
Bipalium sp. (Hammerhead Worm)
Commonly known as hammerhead worms, these rather large land planarians (flatworms) live on the damp floor of the forest. Stretching up to 20 inches, these undergrowth behemoths preys on annelids such as earthworms or even mollusks such as snail. They are common sights at the countryside.
As their name suggests, hammerhead worms have a broad head much like a hammer, the entire body is coated with sticky slime that serves both as a defensive and hunting tool. Unlike most animals, they have their single opening at the middle section of the body that serves both as a mouth and anal.
Hammerhead worms are hermaphrodite which means each individual has both male and female reproductive organs. Reproduction is primarily sexual where two individuals come together to trade sperms; both individuals will lay eggs after copulation. Asexual reproduction occurs via fragmentation. They are a prolific breeder which proliferates quickly wherever food source is available.
Feeding behavior is rather interesting (or rather horrifying), once a prey is located, the worm will latched on to the prey then subdues the struggling prey with the combination of sticky secretion and body muscle. The pharynx of the worm will then be extended to secrete enzymes to digest its prey, externally. The liquefied partially digested prey will then be ingested.
Ways to find them
Look through the moist forest floor, usually found in areas with abundance of prey (other worms and mollusks). Although being mainly nocturnal, they can be seen during early morning or after a downpour. They are usually vividly coloured and pretty easy to spot if one happens to be nearby.