A preliminary survey of the respiratory physiology of Lineus corrigatus, a large marine worm living in the shallow waters around Ross Island was conducted. Worms were caught using traps in shallow water. The worms were placed into closed box respirometers and the rate of oxygen consumption was determined by monitoring oxygen tension in the water with an oxygen meter and electrode. In the following ... season, nemertean worms were subjected to two concentrations of the water soluble fraction of fuel oil, a) 100% which represents acute exposure (short term) and b) 30% representing chronic exposure (over several days). The worms were monitored over several days. Closed box respirometry was attempted to observe any effects of the stress on metabolic rate however, were unsuccessful due to the copious amounts of mucus produced by the animal interfering with the equipment.