19 Apr '17, 3am

Giant shipworm the size of a baseball bat found alive for first time

Giant shipworm the size of a baseball bat found alive for first time

The long, baseball bat-sized shells of the giant shipworm (Kuphus polythalamia ) have made the existence of these mysterious sea creatures impossible to miss, but this is the first time that scientists have ever laid eyes on their live, oozy interior bodies before. It turns out, they are even more macabre and alien-like than anyone could have imagined. “It’s like finding the lost elephant graveyard or finding a dinosaur wandering around, live,” Dr. Daniel Distel, a microbiologist at Northeastern University, told the New York Times . The first thing that's important to know about the giant shipworm is that it's not actually a worm. It's a mollusk, related to other bivalves, like clams, oysters and mussels. They are the longest bivalves in the world, with shells that can measure 3 feet in length. One of the reasons they're so elusive is that they never peer out of their shel...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/giant-sh...

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