Two Leocratides kimuraorum worms create clicking sounds while battling over territory. (Provided by Ryutaro Goto, assistant professor at Kyoto University, and Isao Hirabayashi, chief curator at Kushimoto Marine Park)

KUSHIMOTO, Wakayama Prefecture--Researchers said they recorded the world’s first known sounds from a segmented marine worm, a popping noise equivalent in volume to humans snapping their fingers.

The sounds from Leocratides kimuraorum are made when the tiny worms use their mouths in fights over territory, the researchers said.

The discovery was made after Isao Hirabayashi, chief curator at Kushimoto Marine Park in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, heard some strange sounds while he was taking care of the worms.

Hirabayashi and Ryutaro Goto, assistant professor of ocean biology at Kyoto University, then recorded the creature’s clicking sounds with an underwater microphone.

“From now, we are eager to clarify what the sounds are for and the mechanism of how they are created,” Goto said.

The research paper was published in the digital edition of Current Biology, a U.S. science journal, at: (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.05.047).