Marine Wildlife Encyclopedia
Lancelet Branchiostoma lanceolatum
Looking like a thin, semitransparent, elongate leaf, the lancelet is difficult to spot in the coarse sediments in which it lives. It usually lies half-buried in the sand with its head end sticking out. Muscle blocks that run along both sides of its body show through the skin as a pattern of V-shaped stripes. At the head end, a delicate hood ringed by stiff tentacles overhangs the mouth. This feature filters out large sediment particles but allows smaller, organic particles to pass so that they can be ingested.