less than 1 minute read

Echiurans: Echiura

Echiurans And People

Some echiurans are used by scientists to study how their bodies develop and function and what chemicals they produce, including a skin coloring of some females called bonellin. Bonellin is of interest to people because it may kill certain kinds of bacteria.


Most animals become male or female based on whether they have a Y-chromosome. But in some echiurans, maleness is determined by environment. Bonellin, a chemical found in the female's skin, turns larvae that settle on her proboscis into males. Those landing elsewhere become females. This way, every male is paired with a female. Bonellin also contains toxins that discourage predators and prevent other animals from attaching themselves to the female's body.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related SpeciesEchiurans: Echiura - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Echiurans And People, Green Bonellia (bonellia Viridis): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS