Zoe Morrall, Capturing Our Coast project officer at the University of Portsmouth's Institute of Marine Sciences, said: "Not a lot is known about lugworm
reproduction and it is fascinating how the entire population of a species spawn, just for a few days every year, only when the environmental conditions are perfect.
The Arenicola marina - more commonly known as the lugworm
- plays an important role in fisheries as a source of bait and is a source of food for wader birds and fish.
The lugworm, favoured by fishermen, is packed with oxygen carrying haemoglobin - the vital ingredient of blood.
The pair discovered the lugworm has haemoglobin which carries 40 times as much oxygen as human haemoglobin.
RESEARCH Professor Peter Olive, of Newcastle University who has carried out research into lugworms
fed on brewery waste on behalf of Seabait Ltd.
And its name rose further in 2006 when it was hired to farm lugworms
to be used in a research project - backed with funding from Buckingham Palace.
The study confirmed that fragments of dumped packaging, clothing and rope are ingested by ocean lifeforms such as barnacles and lugworms
Thousands of lugworms, usually used for sea fishing, will be farmed at Ashington-based company Seabait when the synthetic blood starts to be manufactured.
A humble lugworm, usually used as fish bait, could hold the key to saving millions of lives.
In 2001, Prof Olive and his team found that lugworms
fed on beer grew three or four times faster than those in the wild after giving them brewery waste.
used shark oil and gelatine in a lugworm
mould and was featured on TV Tomorrow's World, when the presenter said it was good enough to eat!