Friday, August 23, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Scientists discover shipworm that eats rock


Posted on Friday, 21 June, 2019 | Comment icon 7 comments

Can shipworms really eat rock ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 James St. John
Given that shipworms are typically known to chew through wood, the find came as something of a surprise.
During the days of wooden sailing ships, these water-dwelling bivalve mollusks were the bane of shipbuilders and sailors alike due to their tendency to bore holes through vessels' hulls.

In one famous case, they ruined Christopher Columbus' 4th trip to the Caribbean in the 1500s and even today, shipworms are still known to damage wooden piers and other similar structures.

Now though, it turns out that at least one type of shipworm has an apetite - not for wood - but for rock.

Armed with large, flat teeth, these remarkable creatures were discovered inside chunks of limestone and were observed not only eating through the rock, but excreting waste sand afterwards.

Exactly how the molluscs gain nutrition from the limestone however remains unclear.


Source: Phys.org | Comments (7)

Tags: Shipworm, Rock

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Stiff on 19 June, 2019, 20:10
So there was some truth in that years-old joke about the Irish woodworm found dead in a brick? I knew it.
Comment icon #2 Posted by third_eye on 20 June, 2019, 10:19
stoned worms?  ~
Comment icon #3 Posted by Jon the frog on 21 June, 2019, 13:00
Some shipworm does not eat like Kuphus polythalamia, they rely on a beneficial symbiotic bacteria living in its gills. The bacteria use the hydrogen sulfide as energy to produce organic carbons that feed the shipworms.
Comment icon #4 Posted by fred_mc on 21 June, 2019, 14:18
Interesting. Maybe they could live on other planets, like Mars, too. There are lots of rocks there.
Comment icon #5 Posted by TrikeTrash on 23 June, 2019, 10:54
NO KILL I
Comment icon #6 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot on 23 June, 2019, 11:13
Sand which they let out of digestive system might give us superior quality silicon.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Jon the frog on 23 June, 2019, 23:19
Lots of tropical beach sand are the produce of digestion of coral by parrots fish  


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Alien life forms could glow, say scientists
8-23-2019
It may be possible to detect signs of extraterrestrial life on a distant world by picking up its biofluorescence.
Woman reels in weird fish with two mouths
8-22-2019
Debbie Geddes had been fishing in Lake Champlain with her husband when she caught this peculiar specimen.
UFO caught on camera over Jackson, Wyoming
8-22-2019
A strange object was picked up on a webcam at Spring Creek Ranch in the early hours of August 11th.
First Titanic footage in 14 years released
8-22-2019
The first new expedition to the Titanic in over a decade has revealed the deterioration of the iconic vessel.
Stories & Experiences
A visit from beyond
8-20-2019 | Australia
 
A strange voice
8-5-2019 | St. Catharines Ontario.
 
House vibrates
7-20-2019 | Northern part of lower Michigan
 
Sudden writing on hand
7-20-2019 | England
 
 
Spontaneous exorcisms
7-5-2019 | Ontario
 
A call from 'The Lobster'
7-5-2019 | Russia
 
Witnessing tree spirits
6-25-2019 | Ontario
 
I didn't move my blankets
6-25-2019 | Spring, TX
 
Bitten by a spirit?...true story
6-15-2019 | Dallas, Tx
 

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot
Posted 8-8-2019 | 5 comments
The late Carl Sagan delivers this moving monologue about our place in the universe.
 
How do you move a 13-ton Sphinx ?
Posted 7-3-2019 | 2 comments
A look at how the Sphinx of Ramses II was moved at Philadelphia's Penn Museum.
 
'Deleting' disease using CRISPR
Posted 6-15-2019 | 5 comments
A look at science's goal of eliminating genetic diseases using gene-editing techniques.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2019
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ