polychaete

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polychaete

any marine ANNELID worm of the order Polychaeta, including both errant (moving) and tubicolous (mainly sedentary) forms. They are characterized by the presence of CHAETAE carried on parapodia (projections from the body) and in errant forms the head is well developed. Fertilization is external. The group includes Nereids (bristle worms such as the ragworm), tube worms and fan worms.