So, what is a Velvet Worm and why is it so interesting?
Velvet Worms are all kinds of amazing. Almost every feature about them is strange, weird or obscure, which pretty much puts them at the centre of everything I find awesome.
First of all, they belong to their own Phylum which means they aren’t really closely related to anything except each other. They are most closely related to the obscure little tardigrades, also known as water bears.
They look very much like a worm with a soft and segmented body, but they also have stubby little legs that they walk around on like a centipede.
Their skin is very similar to an arthropods shell, but instead of being hard it’s stretchy and covered in little bumps and scales which means their skin looks and feels like velvet. Unfortunately, their skin is very poor at holding water, which is why you’ll only find velvet worms in moist environments and active usually at night.
They have retractable claws on its stumpy little legs. Like a many-legged plush kitten. So cute!