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It pops straight up out of the live rock and stays that way until something comes near it. It looks hard (calcerous) and NEVER leaves that position. It is either up 1/2" or flat against the surface of the live rock.

My best guess is it is a Mollusca Phylum -- one that is hard skinned but has no shell with a worm like body. I thought maybe Annelida in the Polychaeta class but nothing seems to come close in appearance.

Any body have ANY knowledge on what this "jack-in-the-box" thing is?! NO ONE has a clue -- no one at ANY LFS can even guess. C'mon, I wanna be impressed.

View 1: Side view up (about the size of a nickel)
View 2: Side view down (completely invisible even down to the calcerous algae)
View 3: Front view up (or at least coming back up)
 

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Pictures arent clear enough to get a good look at it.
 

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Pictures arent clear enough to get a good look at it.
That's the challenge -- I can't get any better pictures of it. I guess I could try my wifes pro-level camera but it will still not get much better. It would be nice to get the 45 degree angle shot but it is in-between 2 rocks, almost like a cave and sits right at the corner of the tank.

Still, it should be enough to get some kind of read on what it is -- I can't find anything and I don't have many Phylums left to cover. Those pics are pretty much as good as it gets.....
 

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I have to agree even in your other thread I cannot quite see any detail of what I am looking at. I will usually use a macro lens or setting when I need to get good close ups of small creatures.I also take 10+ pictures so I have the right shot. Aquatics photography can takes some work some times.
 

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I have to agree even in your other thread I cannot quite see any detail of what I am looking at. I will usually use a macro lens or setting when I need to get good close ups of small creatures.I also take 10+ pictures so I have the right shot. Aquatics photography can takes some work some times.
I've taken easily 30+ pictures using a Macro and it just is in a very difficult spot -- bad lighting, small creature, under an overhang in a 2 inch crevice so difficult to focus and the best angle is from the corner of a acrylic tank which is not possible to shoot from.

I'll put a another front and side shot in but I'm not sure it is a ton better -- it takes a little work to see. I'm hoping based on the animal's behavior (simply goes up as shown, and goes down very quickly -- NOTHING else), the basic visual and lack of mobility would lead to some potential discussion of possibilities..... but again, probably not too many botanists on here.
 

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Feather Duster?
 

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Feather Duster?
Maybe a rare form but I don't think it is an Annelida, I think it is Mollusca -- I don't have all the notes with me due to the paper bomb called taxes. It may be a form of worm snail but that still doesn't seem right.

I'll try to download the new pictures I took today with some high powered lights and different angles -- I almost wish I could draw a picture -- I have a shot I need to review from almost the top (the overhang is less than 1/2 " so this is tricky). It looks somewhat like a reverse horseshoe from the top (but closed) with an opening at the U end -- it looks like it has 2 horns from the side but it doesn't from the front -- it is opens a triangular "mouth" as it comes up to filter feed, and it collapses inward as it pops back in (think of a pie with a slice taken out that closes on the opening). It never moves -- I look at the tank almost every night with a flashlight and it stays home. It also appears Calcerous -- I can't see any soft parts that I can tell.

Today may have given another clue, I believe it released a stringy substance with some tiny particles from it's opening.

It's actually driving me nuts -- I can't find anything that looks like this thing or has a similar description of behavior except the worm snails -- and they form tubes. This guy has possibly been in this tank for up to 10 years and is imbedded in the same spot in the live rock.

I also wish I could cirlce it on the picture. It is more dime size than nickel sized.
 

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Like a Vermatid snail?
Yea -- it looks closer to some of those species but not quite it -- I think it is in the class Aplacophora. The descriptions and behaviors are almost spot on -- chitonous exterior but no shell. Stays burrowed and is worm like -- no external features such as eyes.

Here are the latest shots I took -- they look better alittle smaller but I can see more with the pictures than the naked eye so I am not sure there is really much more to see without yanking it out. You can see a little piece of sand or detritious coming out of it's opening.

pic 1: what it looks like at a distance from the frront
pic 2: same shot but much closer -- looks like you can see some sort of upside y-shaped feature in it
pic 3: side shot again but hopefully somewhat clearer
 

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