shipworm


shipworm
/ship"werrm'/, n.
any of various wormlike marine bivalve mollusks that burrow into the timbers of ships, wharves, etc.
[1770-80; SHIP + WORM]

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or pileworm

Any of approximately 65 species (family Teredidae) of common marine bivalves that can severely damage wooden structures, including ship hulls and wharves.

Its anterior end is covered by a shell; the rest is a tubelike structure, sometimes up to 6 ft (1.8 m) long. File-like ridges on its white shell cut into wood at 8–12 rasping motions a minute. It secretes lime to line its burrow, and its tubelike portion extends back to the burrow opening. It ingests food particles and oxygen from the water; some wood is also ingested as food.

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also called  pileworm 
 any of the approximately 65 species of marine bivalve mollusks of the family Teredidae (Teredinidae). Shipworms are common in most oceans and seas and are important because of the destruction they cause in wooden ship hulls, wharves, and other submerged wooden structures.

      Only a small part of the anterior end of the shipworm is covered by a shell; the remainder is a long tubelike structure that, in some species, may be 180 cm (6 feet) long. The white shell, often marked with closely set lines, is used for burrowing into wood. File-like ridges on the shell cut into the wood at a rate of about 8 to 12 rasping motions a minute. Shipworms secrete lime to line the inside of the burrow. The tubelike portion of the animal, which extends back to the burrow opening, ingests food particles and oxygen from the water and discharges wastes and reproductive cells. A certain amount of wood is also ingested as food by most species.

      The most economically important shipworms, i.e., those causing the most damage, are members of the genus Teredo, which includes about 15 species. Other genera are Bankia, Xylotrya, and Xylophaga. Teredo norvegica, of the coasts of Europe, has a tube about 30 cm (1 foot) long. The common shipworm, T. navalis (20 to 45 cm [8 to 18 inches] long), has a worldwide distribution but is especially destructive on the Baltic Sea coast.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shipworm — Ship worm , n. (Zo[ o]l.) Any long, slender, worm shaped bivalve mollusk of {Teredo} and allied genera. The shipworms burrow in wood, and are destructive to wooden ships, piles of wharves, etc. See {Teredo}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shipworm — [ship′wʉrm΄] n. any of a family (Teredinidae) of marine, bivalve mollusks with wormlike bodies: they burrow into and damage submerged wood, as of ships, pilings, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Shipworm — Taxobox name = Shipworm image caption = Teredo sp. regnum = Animalia phylum = Mollusca classis = Bivalvia (or Pelecypoda) ordo = Myoida familia = Teredinidae familia authority = Rafinesque, 1815 subdivision ranks = Genera subdivision = See… …   Wikipedia

  • shipworm — Teredo Te*re do, n.; pl. E. {Teredos}, L. {Teredines}. [L., a worm that gnaws wood, clothes, etc.; akin to Gr. ?, L. terere to rub.] (Zo[ o]l.) A genus of long, slender, wormlike bivalve mollusks which bore into submerged wood, such as the piles… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shipworm — noun Any of several wormlike marine mollusks, of the family Teredinidae, that bore through the wooden hulls of ships and other woody material entering the sea. Old spars and water soaked timbers cast on the beach are full of the workings of the… …   Wiktionary

  • shipworm — noun Date: circa 1778 any of various marine clams (especially family Teredinidae) that have a shell used for burrowing in submerged wood and a wormlike body and that cause damage to wharf piles and wooden ships …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • shipworm — noun another term for teredo …   English new terms dictionary

  • shipworm — ship•worm [[t]ˈʃɪpˌwɜrm[/t]] n. ivt any of various wormlike marine bivalve mollusks of the family Teredinidae, that burrow into the timbers of ships, wharves, etc • Etymology: 1770–80 …   From formal English to slang

  • shipworm — /ˈʃɪpwɜm/ (say shipwerm) noun any of various marine bivalve molluscs which burrow into the timbers of ships, mangroves, submerged logs, etc …   Australian English dictionary

  • shipworm — n. = TEREDO …   Useful english dictionary


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