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Giant Shipworms!

April 18, 2017

This week in the news, have you seen about the 5 giant Shipworms - their latin name is: Kuphus polythalamia - been found in the Philippines?  Although Shipworms have been known about for years, no living specimen gas been studied until now.  

 

 Rare Shipworm find - BBC



The Shipworms were discovered earlier this week, when a log storage pond in Philippines was dug 3 metres deep!  Previously people have only ever found the 1m-1.5m shells of calcium carbonate that they have left behind but this week Scientists have had the chance to open up and study these fascinating creatures.

 

Giant Shipworms live deep underground and, despite their names, are not worms at all but a crustacean. Shipworms are a species of saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Teredinidae.  They have bacteria living in their gills which helps them turn the earth that they are embedded in into food it's mouth at the bottom to feed. 

To learn more about them click on the photo of the Shipworm to see the dissection of the first found Shipworm!

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